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Traditional Weaving and Embroidery are Alive and Well at the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology

by Unatributed Author (VNME)

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The Viet Name Museum of Ethnology (vnme) in Han Noi has collected traditional crafts of many ethnicities, including an especially rich treasure of brocade, weaving and embroidery. This is in keeping with the Museum’s respect for all peoples and their cultural activities throughout the county. Museum research teams travel to every province and ethnic community, searching for information and collecting examples of work. The museums carefully-designed displays and representative samples communicate the character, beauty and diversity of ethnic fabric art.

The staff has produced film documentaries on weaving and embroidery techniques practiced in different communities to help visitors understand in depth these highly developed Vietnamese crafts. Staff members draw on about a thousand objects kept in Museum storage for study and use in creating new exhibits.

From time to time, weavers and embroiderers share their living traditions at the Museum. In May the Museum invited Hmong artisans from the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, So La and Ha Giang to demonstrate traditional techniques of weaving, embroidery and batik as part of a program sponsored by the Viet Nam Folk Literature Association, Ford Foundation and Craft Link.

In October, Viet, Thai and Co Tu craftspeople demonstrated their weaving. Other ethnic groups will join future exhibitions.

A major event is happening in December 2001: The Museum and UNESCO will jointly sponsor a conference on traditional weaving as practiced in several Asian countries. This will provide Vietnamese craftspeople with a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and techniques with regional counterparts.

The Museum plans to help revive and support the art of brocade-making among different ethnicities and also helps craftspeople increases their income from weaving and embroidery by developing products appropriate for consumers in the market economy.

The Ford Foundation is sponsoring collaboration between the Museum and Craft Link to research crafts produced by various Vietnamese ethnic groups. This will help make fine craftwork accessible to local customers through the Museum’s souvenir shop and available to overseas markets through Craft Link. These are the first activities in an ongoing campaign to preserve and develop ethnic traditional crafts that combine beauty of form with practical, everyday uses.

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