Artisan H’Binh and members of the brocade weaving cooperative of N’riêng hamlet, Đak Nong province, are working hard to market their products across Vietnam. Their ambition is to promote Central Highlands culture to the wider public.
33-year-old H`Binh says the Ma embroider without needles. They have techniques for weaving fabric and embroidering patterns at the same time. The Ma embroider bright, colorful patterns on white fabric.
H’Binh said it takes about a week to weave a set of clothes. Hand-made clothing is popular even though it is higher-priced. The cooperative’s members make reasonably-priced scarves and bags.
H’Binh said: “I learned to weave because I love traditional culture. When I mastered the craft, I found that weaving is an important part of preserving and promoting my culture. I’ve taught other women in the hamlet. I attended classes to learn how to market and sell our products.”
In 2018, H’Binh and 7 other villagers established the Dak Nia weaving cooperative. As the cooperative’s leader, H’Binh was aware of the need to promote their products and approach customers rather than waiting for them to come. Their work has borne fruit. They now have regular buyers in HCM City, Da Nang city, and Lam Dong province.
H’Mớt, a member of the cooperative, said: “Since I joined the weaving cooperative, I have earned extra income. My family’s life is better. I hope the cooperative will generate more jobs for local women and help preserve our cultural traditions.”
Sometimes all 20 brocade weavers must work long hours to finish the many orders.
H’ Bach, mother of H’ Binh, is 70 years old, but still works deftly and diligently.
“I can weave since I was little. I’ve been teaching weaving for 30 years. I taught my children to weave and embroider to continue to promote our Ma culture,” H’ Bach said.
Brocade clothes made by the Đăk Nia Club are displayed at festivals in Dak Nong province.
Nguyen Thai Ban, Vice Chairman of Đăk Nia commune, said local authorities have helped the villagers expand their production and earn extra income.
“The commune will continue to work with other agencies to promote brocade products. Brocade production will be a highlight of local tourism when the Lieng Lung eco-tourism site opens. We will help them expand their production.”