The Vietnamese traditional beauty in Asian conical hat
Asian conical hat or “non la” or “leaf hat” has been familiar to the Vietnamese for many years. It is a hat which not only protects people, but also expresses the Vietnamese traditional beauty. In Vietnam, Non La or special conical hats contain colourful hand-stitch words while the Hue varieties are famous for poem conical hats. Because of its charming, “non la” becomes a important symbol to introduce Vietnam to the world. Welcome to Vietnam! you, luckily, can see the image of the women wearing “Ao Dai” and “non la”. As “non la” would seem make up the Vietnamese women more charming and graceful. The international tourists often call it as the Asian beauty.
Asian conical hat, or coolie hat (in the UK), or farmer’s hat has the origin in East, South, and Southeast Asia, particularly Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, parts of Russian Manchuria and Vietnam. Also, Vietnamese conical hats come from a legend which related to the history of rice growing in Vietnam. It is a story about a giant woman from the sky protected humankind from a deluge of rain. She wore a hat with four round shaped leaves to guard against the terrible rain. Asian conical hat or Non La “leaf hat” connected closely to the charming and sweet beauty of the Vietnamese women from ancient times. Moreover, the conical hat working is also a traditional one of the Vietnamese countryside.
Especially, in many beauty contests, “Miss Vietnam” often have a round which the candidates take pictures with “Ao dai” and “non la”. Actually, “non la” is more and more popular in over the world. On the other hands, there are some areas in Vietnam, the brides often wear the Asian conical hat when being picked up to the husband’s house in the happy wedding day. Maybe, it make the girls more charming in their most important day.
2. 36 Hanoi streets appear
Where does the Asian rice hat appears firstly in Vietnam? – No one know. Bui Xuan Phai said that it appeared in the north of Vietnam – Hanoi 500 years ago. The north hats were produced in Chuong village, a village in Thanh Oai town, Ha Tay privince. Then that hats were sold for the Hanoi residents. On Hanoi ancient town, it is very narrow and crowed, with about 100 small streets called as Town and many interlacing alleys. The north hats of Chuong village are popular at that time. It is sold at “Hang Non”, “Hang Dieu”, “Hang Dong”, “Hang Dao”, “Hang Buom”, “Hang Giay”, “Hang Chieu” …. streets. All towns make a Hanoi with 36 streets.
3. How to make “non la”
Because “non la” is special through the villages in Vietnam, there are many kinds with different colours and shapes. The process to do “non la” is quiet simple. There are some following steps:
- The first step is going to the forest and taking the leaves to make the hats;
- The second one is drying it in the sun;
- Then it is pressing leaves in order that they are dry and flat
- Fourthly, it is sharpening and rolling the long and small sticks made of bamboo to make the big and small circles. And all circles make the body of the Vietnamese conical hat;
- Put the circles on the positions of a hat;
Then the next one is putting the bamboo leaves on the body of the hat and sewing them following the circles of a hat;
- The last one is finishing a hat by oiling and and making a hat strap.
However, it is very interesting to discover the hat working at the villages which are famous for this traditional job. From Thanh Hoa and Nghe An to Thua Thien Hue province, there are many regions making the Vietnamese conical hat from ancient times. If you have a trip, drop in Hue city to visit the famous villages with conical hat working, especially, “Poem Leaf Hat” – a symbol of charm and beauty regardless of age, sex or race in Hue, Vietnam country.