A digital library may help preserve brocade patterns

Having put all their heart into preserving and promoting values of brocade patterns created by ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, members of a group of young graduates have launched a digital library of such patterns.

These preservers want to convey a message that maintaining culture is a key to sustainable development while culture knowledge is a bridge connecting human values.

A digital library may help preserve brocade patterns

Members of Ethnicity at work in Lam Dong Province 

In late 2018, a group of graduates from several universities in HCMC shared an inspiration in reviving brocade patterns created by ethnic groups in the Central Highlands. Out of this idea, a project named “Ethnicity” came to life. Ethnicity normally means the quality belonging to a population group sharing a common cultural background. Yet, according to Phan Van Quyen, a graduate from FPT University, who is the founder of the project, his “Ethnicity” is a compound of “ethnic” and “city,” which means people closely associated with urban features.

“I founded the project to create a loop which includes preservation, development and application that help people recognize these brocade patterns and encourage all to use them,” Mr. Quyen said. Born in Bao Loc City, Lam Dong Province, where Ma and K’ho ethnic people live, he can feel the beauty of brocade patterns and know they are falling into oblivion even in the communities they were made.

Brocade is a distinctive element of most of ethnic groups in Vietnam. Ethnic people use brocade patterns as a way to honor the majestic beauty of mountains and forests as well as their multi-faceted life. The colors of these patterns partly expose local lifestyles, cultures and religions.

In Lam Dong Province, brocade weaving is a traditional craft of Ma and K’ho ethnic people and plays an important role in their material and spiritual life. According to Ka Met, a local woman in Dang Dung, Loc Tan Commune, Bao Lam District, brocade products made by Ma ethnic people often have geometric patterns and patterns of human figures, water, animals and familiar things in life. The diversity of colors and patterns is what forms the unique beauty of the brocade. Meanwhile, K’ho ethnic people also depict their lifestyle on brocade products.

“Ethnicity” has been expanded since March 2020. Its members have done research to collect photos and stories of brocade patterns in villages in not only Bao Loc City but also the south Central Highlands where Ma, K’ho and Cil ethnic people are living.

As members of the group have different professions, organizing a research trip for them all is quite tough. In compensation, they have had unforgettable memories during these trips. On the trip to Dung K’No Commune, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, they were able to find the most rustic and primitive things of K’ho ethnic group, realizing that brocade patterns were made on steps leading to a church and its iron windows. “When we were hanging outside to watch brocade patterns on the walls of the church, we met an old K’ho man by chance,” said Mr. Quyen. “He introduced us to the priest who helped us collect documents related to K’ho people’s brocade.”

The journey on which the group discovered the trace of brocade patterns has also left sad stories. Quyen and his teammates often had to listen to complaints that industrial products imported from China looked exactly like theirs, handmade ones. Massively produced Chinese products were of course much cheaper than local counterparts made by hand.

However, these sad stories only strengthened their determination to give brocade products a second life. With patterns and stories, “Ethnicity” members started making them become easy to apply and attractive. It took them from two to three months to complete a pattern, or even more for a complicated one.

 
A digital library may help preserve brocade patterns
A brocade pattern created by K'ho ethnic people

The easier, the better

After one year of preparation, “Ethnicity,” a project to protect brocade patterns of ethnic groups, was launched on July 7, 2020. A library of brocade patterns is the first of its kind in Vietnam, aiming to retain patterns of Ma, K’ho and Cil ethnic groups.

The digital library is a platform for storing the ethnic groups’ brocade patterns. More significantly, Ethnicity members have developed the patterns into designs, layout templates and drawings which can be used immediately. The members also took time to keep characteristics of an original pattern, including its traditional shapes, weaving lines and colors. For instance, brocade patterns are formed by triangles, rectangles, squares, circles, lines, etc. Each has its own meaning and stories. Relying on these, Ethnicity members created patterns in different styles, combining with trendy colors to promote and make them more likely to be used in nowadays life.

Turning these patterns into artworks is a way to make them closer to modern life and to be used for creative ideas. At the same time, Ethnicity also provides stories behind each pattern, which were told by ethnic people living in villages.

Currently, the digital library allows users to download patterns without charge. The members said they wanted to not only preserve the patterns but also recommend ways of applying these patterns to daily life. For example, patterns of an ethnic woman playing t’rung (a traditional musical instrument of ethnic groups), tea hill, a mother carrying her child on her back while harvesting rice, and so on, are often printed on daily utensils.

SGT

Locals preserve value of Vietnamese brocade

Locals preserve value of Vietnamese brocade

Preservation of traditional Vietnamese brocade helps not only highlight cultural values but also contribute to socio-economic development and improves the quality of life for ethnic minorities.

Lu ethnic women preserve brocade weaving

Lu ethnic women preserve brocade weaving

For Lu ethnic people, brocade weaving skill is crucial for any women. Lu ethnic women have made contribution to preserving and promoting this traditional craft.

 
 

Other News

.
Heineken® x Top DJs present Vietnamese with exclusive “Music in a can” experience
Heineken® x Top DJs present Vietnamese with exclusive “Music in a can” experience
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  24/05/2021 

This May, Heineken® has collaborated with electronic dance music (EDM) legends Tiësto, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, KSHMR and Quintino to launch limited edition Heineken® x Top DJ packs and a series of exciting consumer activities to follow.

VFF lawyer elected as member of FIFA disciplinary committee
VFF lawyer elected as member of FIFA disciplinary committee
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/05/2021 

Female Vietnamese lawyer Nguyen Thi My Dung was officially elected as a member of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on May 21 during FIFA’s annual congress which took place through an online format.

Taekwondo athlete secures Vietnam's eighth Olympic berth
Taekwondo athlete secures Vietnam's eighth Olympic berth
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/05/2021 

Truong Thi Kim Tuyen earned Vietnam's eighth Olympic slot on May 21 night in Amman, Jordan.

Portrait by late Vietnamese painter to be auctioned in Hong Kong
Portrait by late Vietnamese painter to be auctioned in Hong Kong
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/05/2021 

A portrait, titled La Joconde (Mona Lisa), by late painter Mai Trung Thu (1906-1980) will be available for bidding on May 24 as part of the Christie’s Hong Kong Spring Auctions.

'Vietnam Idol' winner releases music video of hit song
'Vietnam Idol' winner releases music video of hit song
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/05/2021 

Several famous spots in and around the central city of Da Nang feature in Giữa Đại Lộ Đông Tây (On the East-West Boulevard), the latest music video of singer Uyen Linh, winner of Vietnam Idol 2010.

Original Xoan melodies preserved in Phu Tho ancestral land
Original Xoan melodies preserved in Phu Tho ancestral land
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/05/2021 

Xoan singing of the northern midland province of Phu Tho is a folk ritual singing performed in temples and communal houses to worship the Hung Kings, the legendary founders of the Vietnamese nation, deities, or a village's tutelary gods.

Two exhibitions highlight landscapes of Italy and Vietnam
Two exhibitions highlight landscapes of Italy and Vietnam
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/05/2021 

The Consulate General of Italy in HCM City yesterday (May 20) launched two photographic exhibitions on the landscapes of Italy and Vietnam at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum.

Bread outfit by H’Hen Nie among most unexpected costumes of Miss Universe
Bread outfit by H’Hen Nie among most unexpected costumes of Miss Universe
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/05/2021 

The unique attire inspired from Vietnamese bread, known locally as Banh Mi, which was worn by H’Hen Nie at Miss Universe 2018 has been named among the ten most unexpected national costumes in the pageant’s history.

Vintage Citroens brought lovingly back to life
Vintage Citroens brought lovingly back to life
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/05/2021 

After working as a mechanic for 30 years, Dang Van Cuong, 51, began collecting and restoring vintage French Citroen cars that had been dumped in landfill sites or left for scrap in Vietnam.

Teacher spreads love for Vietnamese kids’ songs through English
Teacher spreads love for Vietnamese kids’ songs through English
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/05/2021 

"Một cánh én nhỏ chẳng làm nên mùa xuân. Rủ nhau én về theo làn nắng ấm dần ..."  (A lone swallow won't beget a spring. Swallows flockin' in the sun warming...)

Young theatre producers hit it big with cai luong shows
Young theatre producers hit it big with cai luong shows
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2021 

Thousands of people in HCM City and the Mekong River Delta region have been captivated by new theatre shows and TV programmes featuring cai luong (reformed opera), a 100-year-old traditional music genre of the south.

Hanoi family preserves vintage fans
Hanoi family preserves vintage fans
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2021 

A family in Hanoi has a large collection of vintage electric fans.

Online Vietnamese bookstores open in Europe
Online Vietnamese bookstores open in Europe
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2021 

Vietnamese books are available in Europe with a great effort to preserve the mother language and culture of Vietnam.

Thai custom: Husband lives with wife’s family after wedding
Thai custom: Husband lives with wife’s family after wedding
YOUR VIETNAMicon  21/05/2021 

According to the Thai ethnic people’s custom, a bridegroom lives with his wife’s family for three to five years before taking her to his house.

South African woman mends broken heart in Vietnam
South African woman mends broken heart in Vietnam
YOUR VIETNAMicon  21/05/2021 

Many wonderful stories start from heartbreak.

Vietnamese fashion thrives despite the pandemic
Vietnamese fashion thrives despite the pandemic
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2021 

Despite being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese fashion designers have opted for innovation and meaningful projects.

Failure of Vietnamese literary film adaptations
Failure of Vietnamese literary film adaptations
FEATUREicon  19/05/2021 

The tragic level of box office revenue of most films that have been adapted from books is examined by cinema critic Nguyen Phong Viet.

Track and field athlete Lan gears up for Olympics
Track and field athlete Lan gears up for Olympics
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2021 

At the National Sports Training Centre in Hanoi, Quach Thi Lan is training hard ahead of this summer's Tokyo Olympics.

Producers of award-winning movie fined by culture ministry
Producers of award-winning movie fined by culture ministry
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2021 

Despite winning a prize at the recent Berlin International Film Festival, the producers of the movie Taste by Vietnamese director Le Bao have been fined by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

VN national football team ready to fly to the UAE
VN national football team ready to fly to the UAE
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2021 

All members of the national football squad of Vietnam have had their second and final injections of the Covid-19 vaccine and are ready for their trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the second qualifier round of the World Cup 2022.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN