Traditional Costumes Restored to Maintain Ethnic People's Cultural Identities

10:45:26 AM | 5/14/2024

Traditional costumes of three groups of ethnic minority people have been successful restored after more than one year of great determination.

The restoration is based on the collected items, contribution and opinions of experts, artisans and village elders through many scientific seminars in the process of restoring the costumes and jewelry of the Ca Dong, Xe Dang and M'nong, main groups in Nam Tra My District.

It is local efforts to preserve and promote the cultural identities of ethnic groups, contributing to the development of community tourism in Quang Nam Province.

Villager Ho Van Buong is one of the artisans invited to participate in collecting and restoring the costumes and jewelry of the Ca Dong people.

"Ca Dong costumes include four main colors: black, red, yellow and white. The patterns and motifs are shown along the hem and tail of the shirt and sleeve, containing certain meanings about life's outlook, history, and the origins of their people," Buong said.

He added that Ca Dong women's costumes included shirts and skirts. The shirts were pullover style with short sleeves. The skirts were woven from colorful cotton threads, mainly red, yellow, and white.

Ca Dong girls loved to wear colorful beads. The more beads they wore, the wealthier and more prosperous their families were.

In addition to beaded necklaces, married and old women also wore many bronze jewelry and silver bracelets to boost their beauty when participating in village festivals.

Meanwhile men often wore loincloths and were shirtless. During festivals, they often wrapped a cloth diagonally across their chest, looking like a warrior going into battle.

"It is clearly that costume is one of the cultural features of a people, the colors on Ca Dong people's costumes are the convergence of culture in either natural or social environment, bearing the beauty of innocence and purity of land, water, mountains and forests," Buong said.

According to Deputy Head of Nam Tra My District's Culture and Information Department Pham Van Thuong, costumes of the Xe Dang are loincloths and shirts.

In the past, Xe Dang men were shirtless, wearing only loincloths. Today, they wear sleeveless shirts and loincloths. This outfit helps them be convenient in daily life activities and at work.

During festivals, they take a large piece of cloth, often wrapped diagonally across their chest with many colorful patterns.

Women wear shirt, skirt, and shawl and baby carrier. Normally, Xe Dang women's shirts are sewn with round neck style, the entire shirt has only two stitches on both sides of the armpit.

The Xe Dang people often wear different types of jewelry such as copper, silver and beaded necklaces, stone waist beads. Especially, jewelry such as fangs and animal claws make their costume distinctive.

When girls become adult women, they often use a shawl to wrap themselves as a sign of being single so men can come to talk and get to know each other.

"The traditional costumes of the Xe Dang people show typical, rich, diverse folk culture in terms of types and products. They have artistic values with beautiful patterns and colors which highlight Nam Tra My's characteristics and unique.

The M'nong people also have their own beautiful costumes which are mostly black and red. The patterns on the costumes are mainly decorated around the edges of the clothing.

The women's outfit includes a dress, skirt and shirt coordinated together, helping the wearer be both gentle but strong and agile. The skirt is home to different types of patterns, showing the culture of the people.

M'nong women also pay great attention to jewelry such as wooden or bamboo earrings and bronze necklaces.

M'nong men's costumes include loincloths and long sleeveless shirts but they usually wear specially-cared loincloths only. During traditional festivals, they often wrap a piece of cloth diagonally across their chest.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Nam Tra My, Tran Duy Dung, said a project to preserve and promote the unique cultural identity of ethnic groups in the period 2023-25 with an orientation to 2030 was ongoing.

It was the premise for Nam Tra My to push the plan of restoring costumes of its ethnic minorities in the coming years. It would encourage young people, especially students and children of ethnic minorities, to regularly use traditional costumes, contributing to preserving, conserving and promoting the cultural identity of their people in modern life.

Source: VGP