Mat weaving handicraft in Dinh Yen commune, Lap Vo district, DongThap province is recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2013. At that time, the commune had more than 3,000 households involved in handmade weaving. Situated near the Hau River, this land has many small islands on the river; mudflats to grow well the materials are scirpus tree and sedges plants to make products.
The people of Dinh Yen still keep the work of weaving colorful mats
Since the 1920s, mats weaving have appeared in Dinh Yen. The raw materials were not enough, so people had to get more materials from Sa Dec and neighboring provinces. The most prosperous and good period of the village was in the 1980s. The products were exported to Eastern Europe, Thailand and Cambodia.
Today, people are beginning to use machines to make products faster, but handmade designs are still smoother.
There are still many skilled elders in the commune. According to a long time artisan in An Binh hamlet, in order to do the job requires craftsman to choose the sedges thread is not too big nor too soft. The sedges are dried in the sun from 30 minutes to an hour before dyeing in boiling water.
The work of weaving colorful mats is so laborious
After that, the sedges continued to be sun-dried for a half of day before weaving. When the weaving is completed, the craftsman carries the mats to cut the cover, tie around and dry in the sun.
Visitors to Dong Thap can easily find their way to Dinh Yen commune. From the gateway of Highway 80, you asked for directions running toward Dinh Yen commune about 2 km and you can see the heaps of sedges dyed red, blue, yellow, purple… were exposed beside the road.
Finished products are sold at prices ranging from 25,000 VND to 50,000 VND a pair of mats, depending on the quality. Mats have many different types and sizes.
Previously, people sold products of mats in Dinh Yen market or “ghost market”. Folk names originate at the business time of the market at night, lasting about 2 hours because the craftsman were busy for work in the daytime. However, this activity is no longer available.