Brocade weaving and herbal bath – unique features of Ta Phin

About 12km north of Sapa Vietnam, Ta Phin commune is one of the key tourist routes of Sa Pa district. Not only known for its wild and magnificent natural beauty, this place also attracts visitors by the unique traditional cultural identity of the local ethnic people, in which, the brocade weaving of the local people. The butt and the herbal bath of the Red Dao people are two “specialties” that cannot be ignored by tourists when coming to this land.

Coming to the ethnic villages in Ta Phin near Sapa Vietnam, the first thing that attracts visitors is the image of charming Hmong women in colorful traditional costumes. Deep inside the village, visitors will see the women and sisters working hard to sew and weave cloth right in front of the house. It is from those skillful and talented hands that have created a lot of rich, diverse brocade products, all designs and colors such as backpacks, travel bags, handbags, wallets, paintings. , towel, shirt, hat…

Each Mong woman reaching adulthood is divided into separate fields to grow flax. When the flax is about 2m tall, cut it, dry it, and then separate the bark. When separating, you must be very clever so that the flax fiber is evenly thin and does not break halfway. These bundles of flax skin are rolled tightly, put in a mortar to beat all the flour so that only tough fibers remain, then rolled into large threads. To achieve whiteness and softness, flax fiber must be boiled several times in kitchen ash water and once in beeswax before weaving it into fabric. Hmong people often weave cloth with belt looms. The finished woven fabric must be washed and washed many times until it is white, then spread it on a round log, then use a stone to rub beeswax to slide and slide again until it is very flat.

The stage that requires the most effort is embroidering decorative patterns on the fabric. The main embroidery pattern is spirals, pumpkin flowers or patterns inspired by nature such as trees, grass, flowers, leaves, birds… Hmong people are very picky when embroidering traditional women’s costumes with full of details. enough headscarves, undershirts, outerwear, skirts and foot-binding cloths. They embroider each part separately and then sew it back into the complete outfit. Each fabric has a very clear personal imprint, showing the sophistication of each embroiderer. For the highland ethnic people, brocade is not only used for daily life but also as a souvenir of love or dowry on the wedding day. This is also an indispensable souvenir of tourists when coming to Sapa Vietnam. In particular, Ta Phin brocade is also ordered by many places in the country to sell to customers and export to some markets such as the US, France, Denmark…

Coming to Ta Phin, in addition to looking to buy “genuine” brocade products of the Mong people, visitors are also eager to enjoy the medicinal leaf bathing service of the Red Dao. In the last days of the year, the Dao people often go to the forest to get medicinal plants to cook water to bathe in to welcome the new year. Bathing with medicinal leaves has good effects on health and has become a typical product for tourists.

The bath medicine of the Red Dao people in Ta Phin near Sapa Vietnam has more plants than those of other Dao groups, ranging from 10 to more than a hundred different types, depending on the purpose of use. Fresh or dried medicinal plants are chopped, put in a large pot and then boiled with firewood. After that, medicinal water is poured into a round wooden barrel, mixed with moderately cold water for bathing. In the small room, the hot steam from the wooden tub radiates, mixed with the herbal scent that makes the bather feel extremely refreshed and comfortable. Bathing or soaking the feet with medicinal leaves for a long time has the effect of treating rheumatism, joint pain, muscle fatigue, sciatica, cold, flu, stomach, skin diseases, cough, pain back, liver pain… In particular, women who bathe with medicinal leaves will have smooth skin and blood circulation.

Bathing with medicinal leaves of the Red Dao is not only a method of health care but also a constitutive element of cultural identity. Currently, in Ta Phin, there are many Red Dao households opening a service of medicinal leaf bathing to serve tourists. In particular, Ta Phin near Sapa Vietnam also has a Joint Stock Company of Indigenous Products including more than 40 households in the commune, specializing in the production of bath medicines of the Dao people to sell to the market. The company’s products are increasingly known by domestic and foreign customers, contributing to creating jobs, increasing incomes, and improving people’s lives.

With unspoiled natural scenery; cool, fresh climate; With friendly and hospitable people and attractive and unique products and services, Ta Phin is increasingly attracting domestic and foreign tourists. Surely anyone who has once come to Ta Phin wants to come back to discover, learn and enjoy the unique gifts that nature and people here give.

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