Updated: Dec 2, 2019
Mai Chau district has a total population of 55.663 people whilst 50% are women. There are 5 majoritty ethnic in Mai Chau including 73,3% Thai Ethnic, 17,33% Muong Ethnic, 11,96 Kinh Ethnic, 9,83 % Mong Ethnic, 3.58 % Giao Ethnic. Mai Chau is divided into 22 villages with the percent of poor households take 21,14%( households with income of average 30$ per month). Average population of Mai Chau is 35 years old.
Four villages in the Mai Chau valley have formed a coalition, manufacturing brocade cloth with the productive force of more than 300 loin looms, in order to develop handicraft tourism in their regions. The people of the Lac, Nhot, Van and Pom Coong brocade villagers sell unique handbags, clothes, wallets and pieu handkerchiefs made of brocade as the mean of living.
Weaving with the use of the traditional loin loom is a skill and occupation that is passed down generations among women in these villages. Even as women are engaged in cultivation, weaving is a secondary occupation, with every household owning a traditional loom. Though women or girls may not necessarily undergo training in weaving, the skills are learnt through lived experiences and by participating in the activity from an early age while assisting their mothers or elders.
Traditionally, the loin loom has an economic significance as well and forms an important part of the socio-culture of tribal societies. But unfortunately, over the years, loin looms have been slowly disappearing and so is the weaving skill. As the result, younger generation no longer has the skill nor the knowledge as weaving is not done in their homes.
The massive invasion of cheap materials and products from china has quickly taken the market. The traditional weaving village slowly disappear. Many young people had to leave their village to be workers in the cities to secure some stable income for the family and themselves. The whole traditional weaving village of Mai Chau face the challenge of being disappear since the young generation will no longer how to work on the loom as they see no future of it and the old generation will also slowly pass away without having a chance to let their children to inherit from their skilful weaving skill.
Nowadays, Income of most people in the villages is based on cultivation and tourism by providing accommodation, food, organizing tours and selling souvenirs to tourists. The weaving village has been therefore becoming more and more commercial and lost its root to the cultural and traditional values.