The Black Thai people in the Northwestern region of Vietnam consider the Pieu scarf to be a symbol of love and an important costume accessory of women. All Black Thai women can weave and embroider Pieu towels.
According to custom, Thai people judge a woman through Pieu scarf. They are an integral part of her outfit’s unique beauty.
For all black Thai women, their Pieu scarf is the central outfit in their daily attire, a gift they give to the chosen person in their heart and an offering in worship ceremonies.
Ms. Hoang Thi Mai, 71 years old, living in Son La province, said: “A Pieu scarf is indispensable for each woman, before the wedding must embroider at least 30 Pieu towels to give to parents and family later. Husband: When one of the couple dies, one Piêu is cut in half, half is used to cover the deceased’s face, the other keeps the other half for the rest of life. used to cover the person’s face, such that the couple can meet in the afterlife. ”
Any self-esteem black Thai mother is eager to teach her daughter how to make a Pieu scarf. First she must choose a beautiful white cloth, preferably hand-woven. This fabric is then dyed black and embroidered in different colors. The decoration is only at the ends of the scarf.
The traditional technique is to embroider the motifs that appear on the front, usually plant or flower. After the embroidery is finished, the scarf is lined with red cloth all its length.
Thai women generally wear a scarf with three leaves at each end, but when they offer a Pieu to someone else, it should have at least five leaves, says Lu Thi Chum, a Black Thai woman from Son La.
She explained how to make the leaves: “To create these leaves, we roll a strip of red fabric about a centimeter wide around a core made of threads to make a cone representing the leaf. My mother taught me how to embroider. I want to share that know-how so that Thai cultural identity will never be lost.”
Nowadays, many Black Thai girls no longer know how to embroider. According to Ms. Quàng Thi Vin, Chairwoman of the Women’s Union of Son La province, teaching them traditional techniques has become a top priority for the government and women’s unions in many parts of the Northwest.
“Every year, as part of the Bauhinia Flower Festival, we organize a Pieu embroidery competition. This is an opportunity for women to meet, learn from each other, perpetuate the tradition, and pass it on to future generations,” Vin said.
If in their daily lives Black Thai women now prefer modern clothes for comfort, it is out f the question for them to totally give up their traditional dress, especially their Pieu scarves.