Friday, February 6, 2009

Ancient Skills

Our friend Le Ly Hayslip, founder of Global Village Foundation, has dreamed of recreating the village of her childhood, displaying the skills of times past. The universe has provided!!!!..a hotelier here in Hoi An had developed the concept and now has tired of the business. He has offered Le Ly office space in the cavernous lobby of the hotel and friendly room rates for her volunteers. Below on the river bank, the replica of the village, with "staged" pajama clad villagers awaits some active promotion. Le Ly is so enthusiastic about Westerners knowing the real Vietnam and its traditions, that she may be able to breath new life into the attraction.

Here you see her wielding a huge mallet, grinding and pounding the remains of peanut shells, which are strewn on the fields as fertilizer. Le Ly took us around the village where we saw planting, watering, harvesting, processing of food, the harvesting of silk, carding and weaving of cotton, the making of hand carved wooden shoes.

The pottery wheel is activated by foot. This woman's partner is just beyond the picture, rythmically sweeping her foot across the wheel to keep it moving at just the right speed for the potter to throw the pot. In the space of a few minutes three jars were made.
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