Amongst the top attractions to see in Phonsavan, Ban Mixay Village Laos remains so pristine and attractive that marvels guests at the traditional paper umbrella making. The mulberry paper umbrellas (called “Khan Nyu” in the Laos language) are the famous products which bring income to the villagers. Travel to Ban Mixay, visitors can witness the hand-made procedure and buy the authentic Laos paper umbrella.
The Mulberry Paper Umbrella Making in Ban Mixay Village Laos
Originally, the “Khan Nyu” umbrellas were merely produced by the monks and novices in the Buddha pagodas and give them as gifts to the pilgrims. As time passes, the products get the widespread attention, and many foreign travelers want to buy the mulberry paper umbrellas. The items come in various colors and sizes that call people to buy and increase the sales.
Naturally processed, the umbrellas of Ban Mixay are unique and special enough to turn itself to be the top souvenir in Laos. The value of the handmade product increases much when people know that it is totally made from the natural materials. While the paper is produced from the mulberry trees, the glue is processed from the fruit of the wild persimmon trees. Also, for the white natural dye, people use the sesame oil, and for the red one, they use the roots of “Mak Bao” trees.
Naturally made and distinctively designed, the mulberry paper umbrellas are the iconic products to buy when you are in Phonsavan. Expect to feast eyes with ranges of the colorful umbrellas. Their recognizable characteristics are the mulberry paper, the natural dyes, and the textiles beautified with the matchless patterns of the Laos ethnic groups. In particular, the frame can be made from some local trees like “mai hok” tree while the struts are from the “mai pong” bamboo.
The locals hold some secrets in pounding the outer pulp of the tree and mixing it with water. After drying the frame in the sun, the cut paper is glued to the spokes. This is the antique tradition in this Laos traditional village that is worth discovering and buying for yourself the lovely umbrellas. Know that only a few artisans know how to make the authentic “Khan Nyu” and this is the valuable tradition to admire. The village has workshops and sectors that sell the “Khan Nyu” to the visitors.
Travel to Phonsavan and Visit Other Handicraft Villages besides Ban Mixay Village
Phonsavan means “hill of paradise” in the Lao language, which reflects that this hill land has the paradisiac scenery. Being the provincial capital city of Xieng Khouang Province, Phonsavan is attractive with some local highlights of Plain of Jars, Nong Tang Lake, Tham Piu Cave, etc., and the handicraft villages, including the spotlighted Ban Mixay in this article.
So, besides the traditional Ban Mixay that procedures the mulberry paper umbrellas, there are several fantastic handicraft villages to discover in this off-the-beaten-track province.
- Ban Napia Village: This is a cultural site dedicated to making spoons from aluminum scraps of the Indochina Wars. The remote village is also recognizable for the hand-woven textiles and the authentic Laos food. Guests are interested in watching how the villagers produce the spoons, and they even buy packages for home uses.
- Tai Dam Village: This is home to some minority groups who make the premium silk and cotton fabric for sales. The village is open for tourism and welcomes travelers to explore their culture, tradition, silk making, and beautiful products for sales. People are likely to buy the colorful silk scarves, bags, garments, etc., in this center.
Together with Ban Mixay, other handicraft villages in Phonsavan Laos welcome guests who enjoy the discovery of authentic Laos’ culture and tradition.
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