A Cham woman and Cham pottery works

Binh Thuan, a tourist site in the central coastal province, does not own its popularity to attractive beaches, splendid sand dunes or deluxe resorts and spas, but rather to its renowned Cham minority craft village known as Go Hamlet by local Vietnamese or Play Gok by Cham minorities.

For thousands of years, the generations in this hamlet, located at Tri Duc Commune, Phan Hiep Village, have grown up learning the pottery skills of their forefathers.

Every day women knead the clay which the men take and mix with water and then mould on a very simple potter’s wheel made of wood. The final products are polished with a layer of clay water.

Products are also fired in the traditional Cham way. First they are dried in the sunshine on vacant land next to the hamlet and then the locals collect straw and firewood to put around and into the products to fire them over night.

From traditional models learned from older generations such as pots, bowls, jars and vessels, the potters in Go Hamlet have also been inspired by the development of the modern market to make fine art productions. The high quality of pottery products from Go Hamlet is due not only to good clay but also to the way they are fired.

With the development of society and the demand for decorated ceramics, many artists have visited Go Hamlet to order products of their own design. The Go Hamlet artists have made some of these designs their own.

Go pottery is a reputable brand name in pottery showrooms around the country and craftsmen from Go Hamlet are often invited to demonstrate how they make their products.

In 1996, three Go women were invited to Japan for three months to make baked pottery and to teach about Cham pottery. In early 2005, Vichamco Fine Arts Company Ltd. established a showroom in Phan Thiet City to introduce more than 1,500 Cham pottery products and more than 1,000 products were displayed at the 2005 Trade Fair in HCMC.

The images of Cham women from Go Hamlet making pottery are beautiful, and are regarded as a unique symbol honoring a Cham pottery craft village with thousands of years of history.

Source: VietNamNet Bridge