Flying High with the Artisans of Thach Xa Bamboo Dragonfly Making Village
Thach Xa village is located 25 km west of Hanoi and is known for its centuries-old tradition of creating elegant dragonfly souvenirs. The villagers have been using bamboo as a raw material for generations, making everything baskets, furniture, hats, and toys to household items like chopsticks, spoons, and more. However, the dragonfly remains the most cherished and iconic product to date. The artisans use mainly two types of bamboo to make dragonflies; the soft and elastic bamboo for the wings and the harder type for the body and antennae.
The process of making a Thach Xa bamboo dragonfly is intricate, requiring a lot of patience, skill, and finesse. selecting the right bamboo, processing it to finalizing its shape, every stage requires careful planning and precise handwork. While the artisans use different techniques to weave, form, and assemble the wings, body, and other parts, they still depend mainly on the traditional way of making dragons that have been passed down their ancestors. This way, they ensure that these authentic souvenirs retain their artistic integrity and cultural heritage.
One thing that stands out about the artisans of Thach Xa is their creativity. They use an array of colors, patterns, and designs to give each dragonfly a unique character. Some are painted using acrylics, while others are plain, exposing the natural color and beauty of the bamboo sticks. Some also have tiny accessories like beads, wire, and cloth to enhance their beauty. When you purchase a dragonfly Thach Xa, you are not just buying a handicraft but a masterpiece that has been artisanally crafted with passion.
It's delightful to see how the Thach Xa bamboo dragonfly making tradition has impacted the economy and lives of the villagers. The dragonfly souvenirs are not only popular within Vietnam but also internationally. The local government has helped the artisans by promoting their traditional craft and encouraging visitors to come and see them work. Some tourist groups and souvenir shops even hire them to not only sell their products but also conduct workshops and teach the art of making dragonflies.
The Thach Xa bamboo dragonfly making village is one of the hidden treasures of Vietnam. The artisans there have preserved their traditional heritage of bamboo weaving and have transformed it something that showcases their unique craft and artistry. When you visit this village, you not only get to marvel at these beautiful dragonflies but also learn about the love, passion, and dedication that go behind creating them. By purchasing these souvenirs, you are not only supporting the local economy but also preserving a centuries-old cultural legacy. The next time you take a trip to Vietnam, make sure to visit Thach Xa and get yourself a magnificent dragonfly that will take you on a flight of art and tradition.