Tay Ho, hat- making village

No one in the village Tay Ho (Hue) knows when the hat making began but everybody feels grateful to the job that feeds the whole village through ups and downs of history.

Not rich is the village, and the people live mainly on farming work, but hat making helps them to live on between crops and their village girls are famous for their beauty and dutifulness. Not only women make hats but men build the frames. Each frame has 16 bamboo splints. Women do the knitting and ironing the leaves, they have to do carefully in order to retain the natural colour of the leaves and when covering, it needs skills to make the hats fine and tight.

When finished, they put on the top a small ball made of colourful threads the hat looks more beautiful. What make the difference of hats in Tay Ho (Hue) lie in their delicateness, strength and poems put in between the leaves.

In the 60s of the last century, Mr.Bui Quang Hac, a skilled hat-maker in Tay Ho and a poet as well, fIrst put poems in between the leaves, the hats since then were named poetic hats (non bai tho). Later on, the villagers put in pictures featuring Hue' sceneries: Linh Mu pagoda, Trang Tien bridge, Sampans on Huong river.

Generations have gone by, but hat-making is still retained as profession, and the village girls, when married off, they bring with them the job to their husbands' homelands, so from Tay Ho, poetic hats are famous far-and-wide and closely linked to the people's daily life.

They have become the decorative for many young girls, but just made of very simple material: coconut and bamboo leaves. What a wonder when you meet a young girl with a poetic hat on, it is Hue', it's Vietnam.