Old artisan preserves cultural values of Dao Thanh Y ethnic group

(VOVWORLD) - At the age of 64, Truong Thi Hoa from the mountainous district of Hoanh Bo, Quang Ninh province, is still busy teaching embroidery and singing for local people with an aim to preserve the cultural values of Dao Thanh Y ethnic people. Hoa was given the title Emeritus Artist for her great contribution to the community.

Old artisan preserves cultural values of Dao Thanh Y ethnic group  - ảnh 1 Truong Thi Hoa (C) instructs local women to embroider traditional wedding customs of Dao Thanh Y ethnic people. (Photo: VOV)

In her small house in Quang La commune, Hoa is instructing local women to embroider patterns on the traditional wedding costumes of the Dao Thanh Y ethnic group. She said embroidery requires patience, sophistication, and concentration.

“The traditional costumes must be embroidered by hand. You must be patient to finish each detail. But many locals still want to learn the embroidery techniques,” said Hoa.

The traditional costumes of Dao Thanh Y people have many details, colors and patterns. All the steps from cutting cloth to embroidery are done by hand. The embroidery class run by an experienced artisan like Hoa attracts lots of learners. Dang Thi Le, one learner, said it normally takes 1 or 2 years to be able to embroider a costume of the Dao Thanh Y.

“I started learning how to embroider from Ms. Hoa when I was 15 years old. Despite being busy with farming work, I try to make the time to learn,” said Le.

In addition to embroidery techniques, Hoa teaches young people the call and response folk songs of the Dao Thanh Y.

“I always encourage young people to learn singing and embroidery. As an Emeritus Artist, I‘m more aware of my responsibility to help preserve the traditional culture,” said Hoa.

Hoa’s effort has been supported by local authorities. Bui Thi Giang, Deputy Head of the provincial National Heritage Management Board said: “We strongly support artisans’ efforts to preserve intangible cultural heritages. We encourage young people to study traditional cultural values.”