Brocade weaving has always been an essential part of the self-sufficient life of the Co Tu ethnic people. Co Tu women take charge of weaving, making attractive yet sturdy clothes and other items to use in the kitchen, decorations or for spiritual purpose for their family or as gifts to share.
The traditional dress of the Co Tu people is simple, practical and colorful. The men wear loincloths and leave their upper bodies bare except during ceremonies when they drape a longer body cloth in a cross across their chest. The women wear long skirts and short-sleeved tops. Both men and women’s outfits are made from black fabric with bands of embroidery predominately in red, white and orange.
Dhroong village, just a village a few kilometers from Bho Hoong, is home to many exceptionally skilled weavers. Girls learn to weave from the age of about 7 or 8 years old from their mother and other village women. When being free from crop-care, weaving also is a great opportunity for Co Tu women to gather and socialize.
Co Tu weavers harmoniously manoeuvre a wood and bamboo device with their body movements. Seated with her back holding the end of vertical yarns, the artisan pushes the other end of the yarns with her legs, changing tension to allow horizontal yarns to criss-cross the other, whilst simultaneously adding decorative beads. The Co Tu are the last tribe in Southeast Asia who continue to embroider their beads by hand, having yet to accept the use of glue for this process.
Rattan weaving is on the main traditional handicrafts of the Co Tu people. For generations, after each planting had been completed, Co Tu men walk deep into the forest to gather rattan material. Once extracted, rattan canes are taken home, split into strips, sun-dried, and stored above the wood-fired stove to help preserve them. The men gather in the Guol, their stilted village common house and ply their craft, this also gives the men a avenue to discuss village politics and share no small amount of gossip. The dried strips are turned into useful woven household products such as mats, the iconic Co Tu backpack and other decorative items.
Co Tu & Bho Hoong Facts
The roofs of each of the bungalows at Bho Hoong are adorned with two carvings of a sacred animal and the bungalow takes this name as its own.”