A special village – Tho Ha

Anywhere in Tho Ha village, traces of pottery are still present, especially on works built with ceramic scraps or small pottery. Having visited the ancient village many times, I still remember that the first time I walked through the village gate bearing the shadow of time was the great letter: “Tho chi Tan”, a testament to the space dense with ancient culture. The landscape of Tho Ha today compared to 10 years ago does not seem to have changed much, maybe it is just that there are more vehicles and more densely populated people.

The herringbone roads here are deep and narrow, sometimes just enough for two people to walk to avoid each other. Tho Ha seems to be more bustling in the early morning. Under the hot sunshine of the last days of winter, people are busy drying batches of rice paper rolls waiting for Tet. The village is small, so every place is used to dry cakes, from small entrances and exits, on roofs, river banks, tree branches, communal courtyards…

Listening to the village elders tell, Tho Ha has never had a field, only residential land with an area of ​​20ha and a population of nearly 4,000 people. With these natural and social conditions, right from the beginning of the village, people have chosen for themselves pottery – a suitable career to exploit many advantages. The craft here is so sophisticated and special that, along with Phu Lang (Que Vo, Bac Ninh) and Bat Trang (Gia Lam, Hanoi), Tho Ha used to be one of the three oldest ceramic centers of the Vietnamese people. .

Ceramics in Tho Ha has flourished since the 14th century and was famous throughout the country for household ceramic products. In the stele at Tho Ha communal house, engraved in the 14th year of Chinh Hoa, there is a passage that reads: “Industry and trade friends store goods at the market in piles, goods are always in circulation, every household has a ceramic kiln, the festival is jubilantly opened in every autumn.” Experts say that Tho Ha pottery has rare features such as: high crockery, waterproof, smooth, warm and close red-brown glaze color.

Tho Ha pottery has eternal durability whether buried in the ground or soaked in water for a long time. Durable, beautiful and especially like that, but unfortunately, today Tho Ha ancient pottery village has no longer maintained its prosperity as before. Mr. Trinh Dac Ha (65 years old), the head of the village’s Elderly Association regrets: “In the past, our ancestors had a very prosperous pottery profession, over time, this profession gradually faded away, relatives had to switched to making rice paper rolls, baked rice cakes, rice noodles, small business and raising pigs”.

 

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