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The four-panel traditional dress and Kerchief – the gracefulness of Kinh Bac’s women.

May 23, 2008          4040 views

(Cinet)- So far, the origin of the four-panel traditional dress has not been known yet, however, if we go back in time, the carved image of Vietnam’s four-panel traditional dress with two flatting laps is found on the face of Ngoc Lu bronze drum recognized thousands of years ago.

Legend has it that, when ridding the elephants to charge the Han enemy Hai Ba Trung wore two-panel long dresses, gold cuirasses and  were under parasols. Thus, to express the respect for the two women, Vietnamese women avoid wearing two- panel dresses but four-panel traditional dresses. Another appropriate reason is that in the past as the technology did not develop much, people could not weaved such big fabric sizes that they had to join four pieces of cloth to make a long dress – four panel traditional dress. The two front laps of dress have the same width and are tied together. As the time goes by, from the 17 to 19 century, to have more aristocratic and luxurious shapes, town women created a five panel dress basing on the traditional one. The five panel dress showed not only the wearer’s prosperity as well as social position but also five basic elements: metal & wood & water & fire & earth (according to Eastern philosophy). Along with the dress, there are a brassiere, kerchief and a quai thao hat (flat palm hat with fringes) which were used to be considered as “women’s national uniforms” and worn on festivals or special occasions.


Kerchief ….

Not all the people who can sing Love duets are able to wind turbans. Even they know how to wind, the turbans look improbably nice. Some one said: kerchief must be wound suit the wearer’s head and face, after winding, the face must look like a lotus bud. If the beak is too high the face looks untruthful and on the contrary, the wearer looks stupid if the beak is too low.


In order to wind the turban beautifully, we should follow these steps; firstly wrap hair in a turban, then roll the turban into oval and put it neatly on the head toward the scauff of the neck and finally pin it up. Besides, the way of folding turban is more important. It needs the skillfulness and balance (2 sides of a turban are folded cross to make a triangle), the beak must be at the middle of the hair part and, 2 angles are passed through the ears and tied under the scauff of the neck.

Actually, kerchief is not simple a head wear but also an art work which is necessary for the Kinh Bac girls. 



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