EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTORS SOUGHT
The items shown here are examples of some of the
designs available from the master craftsmen with whom we have personal and
products shown on these pages, V V G acts as the principal and not the
We have a direct interest in these products
and their manufacture. We are in the process of reviving the weaving
trade, not simply seeking to reproduce old-style baskets. While some
individual old baskets are available, we will sell only new baskets that appear
to be the same, and to the trade only in wholesale quantities.
Scroll down to see details of these baskets and
what makes them so special.
We are in the process of seeking established regional distributors who will be
given exclusive territories for five (5) years subject to meeting annual
Write to tell us of your interest in becoming our
has 54 separate ethnic minority people in its vast population.
Many have their own language, not merely a dialect of Vietnamese. They
also have their own culture and customs.
There are few if any physiognomy
differences between the people of Vietnam, yet it is easy to
distinguish the people from the Minority tribes from their more
prosperous and sophisticated Viet neighbors.
Many of these people produce
almost all the essential products for their own use, with only
infrequent trips to more central markets for trade each year.
With strict gender-based
divisions of labor, the work done collectively does not yield a
commodity, but a part of the best possible product for the community.
Many produce household articles
that are well known and distinctive. Woven products are quite
diversified, with most articles made from rattan or various species of
bamboo. Each is decorated in a simple but beautiful pattern.
Some are for daily use, while others are for ritual or labor.
Whether baskets, sieves,
back-packs, mattresses, chairs, fishing traps, tobacco boxes and more,
it seems strange to the more sophisticated societies that in their own
culture, these ethnic people prefer the more modern pieces to the old.
These craft products are loosing
their local market viability as they cannot compete favorably with
industrial commodities that are mass produced and sold widely at cheap
Goods are traditionally not sold
for profit but bartered at even exchanges for the value of labor.
Until the establishment of craft villages, the people did not have any
economic incentive to specialize in making such products.
In some ethnic minority
societies, only one month a year was allotted for making woven
products, whether baskets, wattles for drying rice, or repairing and
building new granaries for storage of rice.
The products shown here are made
by members of various ethnic minority people who now seek to keep
their craft skills alive and pass them on to succeeding generations.
In an ever-changing and more
modern world, that task becomes all the more difficult with each
For the collector of fine
handicraft products, that only adds to the value of the collection.
However, for the people of the
land, to preserve their heritage, it is deemed a necessity that these
Woven products of Vietnam's
ethnic minorities in various forms reveals the following distinctive
- Unique breakthroughs in form,
curve and sculpture
- Unique application of
- Unique colors and use of
colored leaves, woods and fabrics
- A distinctly
esthetic element of overall design and function.
V V G alone has a unique relationship with the
leading Master Weavers in Thailand and Vietnam. We are the exclusive buyers
of the entire production lot of each village that weaves for us. The
same Master Weavers who are now in their 70s and 80s, are for the
first time in decades teaching young apprentices, who themselves are
in training to become journeymen.
the first time ever, these works of art will soon be produced in
commercial quantities for the sale to discerning buyers. No
where else in the world are baskets of these sizes and complexity
We feature only
baskets woven by the top Master Craftswomen. These are their best designs
that come from the Ba-Na and Se Dang
peoples of the Central Highlands in Vietnam, and the Padong and Hmong
peoples now in Thailand
Scroll down and enjoy our baskets
and see the
Ethnic Minority People of the Highlands, how they
make, and use these magnificent baskets today.
Due to extremely difficult local conditions, commercial production
in Vietnam has been
slower than expected. Commercial production can start as soon as we locate a distributor.
Write to tell us of your interest in becoming our
Each of the baskets
pictured is 20+ years old.
The images on this page show the
incredible detail of the master basket maker's craft.
You will need to click on each small
image and then use your browser's close up feature. or copy the images to your
local drive and use another program to open each with and use that programs
|A one "yar" basket. Yar is
a measure of rice = 1 bushel.
||A two yar basket
= 2 bushels
34" Inside height 23" Diameter 12"
35" Inside height 23" Diameter 16"
Each basket presently takes it's master craftsman
more than one month to make. Details of the making of these baskets are
demonstrated by a middle age apprentice, below.
VVG has developed with the master craftsmen and
their villagers a revival and improvement on an old manufacturing concept
perfectly suited for this village craft. Under our procedures, a
master craftsman will produce as many as 10 one-yar baskets a month and train
new master craftsmen in less than one year's time.
The present average age of the few remaining
master craftsmen is over 80. We estimate that this craft will be (i) saved
and revived, able to produce commercial quantities of these magnificent baskets,
in less than three years; or (ii) lost for all time in less than 5 years as the
remaining master craftsmen age and die.
Notice how the basket tops are made from the stem
of the Lo-O plant. The stem is cut into reeds or stays that are still attached
to the stem. When completed, these take on the
form of a stem from a piece of fruit. The reeds or stays are spread and then
woven with smaller reeds . Under the stem reeds or stays are placed a
layer of leaves and under them is secured a 3rd layer of
woven reeds or stays that is then bound to the top.
A similar process is used for the body of the
basket except that each stay is hand carved to its narrow flat or round shape
before being woven in place. The weaving is not layered but so tight as when new to be
water-tight. Only the bottom is woven with small spaces to allow the escape of
rain water but not rice grains.
Contributing to this unique design is the water-
and rice-tight wave, the intricate weave of the top, and the exterior design
weave. There are no other baskets like this produced in the world.
||The top of the basket is
formed by the stem of the Lo-O plant that forms the handle by which
the top is held and removed. The reeds or stays, cut from the stem,
||These plants are very much
like rattan, solid wood that must be cut, trimmed and formed while still
green, soft, and pliable.
||Each master craftsman has
his own design that he places on each basket.
||The ancient designs are
often found in other woven products and can be found as far away as South
||.Neither daylight nor water
come in from the tops. These baskets were in use for more than 20 years.
||Over time with use the
inner layer of leaves will deteriorate allowing some daylight through.
Even though, when these were cleaned with a high power water nozzle, no
||These images show
that day light does not enter the baskets. We can also see the work
that goes into the interior of each
||The inner layer of leaves
& daylight can be seen to release water but not rice. These baskets are each at least 20 years old.
|Sedang youth using a
20 year old (boy and basket) in 1999.
|Using an old basket as
model for the new.
||The strips or reeds are
first whittled to size.
||Then the still green
sticks are rounded and shaped.
Write to tell us of your interest in
becoming our distributor