Come to Bau Truc to learn how to make pottery
Legend has it that the ancestor of Bau Truc pottery is Mr. Poklong Chanh who refused high position in the court so that he could teach women how to make pots, decorations and others from clay in the village. Bau Truc pottery products are still made of the clay lying deep in the Quao River, which makes the pottery quality of the village one of a kind.
On visiting the pottery village, you can visit Bau Truc Pottery Gallery located in the middle of the village, or look for the “pottery workshop”. The writer had the opportunity to visit Ngoc Huynh which is passed down from mother to daughter. Although it wasn’t in working hours, the Cham mother and daughter were still happy to guide the customers to see the dried products waiting to be baked. They explained the production process from clay preparation, shaping to firing with glittering proud eyes.
The most meticulous stage is probably the styling stage by the artisans here, which still follows the traditional way: Instead of putting products on the turntable for convenience, they will go round in circles, around the product. Patterns used for decoration are also simple, such as: the shells, leaves, sometimes they only use a small branch to create patterns. Then, in the firing stage, the artisans will mix color, smoke to create the natural colors which are the symbol colors (red, grey-black, smokey brown…) of Cham’s people.
Nowadays, Bau Truc pottery village is considered as one of the oldest and most famous pottery villages that still exist and it’s also on the list of national intangible cultural heritage. Take a visit here, experience the pottery and come back with one of the distinct decorations, you will love and strengthen the bond more with the land and the talent of the villagers.
Visit the oldest brocade weaving village in Southeast Asia
From Bau Truc pottery village, it is about 2km away from the brocade weaving village of My Nghiep (or Cham Irahani village), which preserves and passed on the traditional methods of weaving brocade cloth of the Cham. This place Machinery is completely absent from this place since the artisans are still following the traditional techniques.
In the seventeenth century, a woman named Ponagar arrived here and found that the climate was suitable for growing cotton for weaving, she passed down the technique the Xas in Chaleng village (today’s My Nghiep village) ). As time passes, weaving has been widely spreaded and developed till now, attracting visitors from Vietnam and other countries.
The most impressive things are the complicated secret techniques, featuring in all stages from cotton seeds separating, rolling, dipping, dyeing, lacquering, combing to brushing. The preparation of silk dye alone is meticulous. In order to dye black, artisans must use “chum bau den” leaves soaked in the mud for a week, while, to dye red, they use “canh kien” trees in the forest, for green, they choose indigo leaves and barks…
And that is just about color aspect. Creating a fine piece of brocade also requires effort, knowledge, aesthetics, sophisticated hands of artisans and being familiar with traditional techniques. As a result, brocade products from My Nghiem village are widely famous, proudly to be the oldest brocade weaving village in Southeast Asia and easily recognized by the symbols bearing the Cham’s ethnic identity like: bingu tamun, stylized dragon (bingu pang), bird’s foot (takay wa), pattern of rice crackers …
You can visit My Nghiep village at any time of year, but the ideal is September and October so that you can visit the vineyards in the harvest season and participate in special festivals of Cham’s people at the same time.