Hemp and Mhong
Long History With Mhong
Hemp fiber has been an essential part of the Mhong people’s way of life for a very long time. They both use Hemp fiber for their daily life and for traditional activities and beliefs. In the past, when there wasn’t any other type of fiber available for purchase, Mhong people would take sheets of Hemp fiber and cut and sew them into clothing or other things that they used in their daily lives. Nonetheless, an apparently obvious attribute of the Mhong people was to use Hemp fiber to make skirts, which has been passed down to today’s generation. Mhong people prefer to use white Hemp fiber to make skirts. After the skirts are sewed, they will use beeswax to decorate the skirts. Then, they will have the skirts dyed with Hom or Glar, so that they will turn out to be indigo. Finally, they will use honey to embroider designs and patterns on the skirts.
As for their tradition and beliefs, Hemp fiber is considered to have a profound meaning and is used in many traditional festivals by Mhong people. An example of a traditional festival a festival that involves communicating with spirits, in this festival they will have to make a bridge from Hemp fiber. This bridge connects between the top of doors, so that soldiers from the sky can come down to help during this festival. This festival is held every New Year. One of their most important festivals that involves Hemp fiber is a funeral. In the first part of the funeral, they have to pray and guide the dead person’s soul to their ancestors. They will also have to make shoes from Hemp fiber for the dead person to wear because they believe that these shoes will be able to guide that person through lands that are full of caterpillars and forests with thorns, so that they can eventually be reunited with their ancestors. Furthermore, the soul of the dead person will also encounter ferocious creatures, like tigers and serpents that are going to try to eat them. In order them to avoid being eaten they will need to throw Hemp fabric into these creature’s mouths.