The Bandana (Black and White Scarf) and Áo Bà Ba (Vietnamese Silk Ensemble)

The Bandana is also a very familiar image in Mekong Delta. It is also a symbol of Mekong Delta women who are very hardworking and very lovable.

The Bandana (Black and White Scarf) and   Áo Bà Ba (Vietnamese Silk Ensemble)
Pretty Southern girls in bandana
According to the researchers, the bandana is derived from Khmer people. It is the utility of bandana that bandanna is very common regardless of ethnic, gender when using it. Bandana has a length of about 1.2 meters, width of about 40 to 50 cm, and has no gaudy and garish colors, but very idyllic and simple. The bandana is usually black and white or brown and white. These two colors alternate horizontally, interlaced forming small squares, stretching across the towel.


The Bandana (Black and White Scarf) and   Áo Bà Ba (Vietnamese Silk Ensemble)
The basic colors of bandana
Not only do the ragged workers wear bandana, but the landowner, wealthy people also use it. Previously, it was used to adorn the costumes in the festivals, but later on, the bandana has become closer to the working people when it is widely used in labor and production.

The men usually wind bandana around the forehead while working to prevent sweat from flowing down their eyes. The women put the scarf on the neck, two laps are put in the front in order to use to wipe the sweat. Sometimes, bandana goes with the áo bà ba and creates the beauty characteristic of the inhabitants of the South. Therefore, it can be said that bandana has become a convenient and familiar item of everyone, of every social classes and of both sexes in labor, fighting and living, to shade from the sun, to wipe the sweat, to avoid the whirlwinds, even to dry tears or hide a smile. The bandana is the characteristic feature of the cultural identity of the people in Mekong Delta.

The Bandana (Black and White Scarf) and   Áo Bà Ba (Vietnamese Silk Ensemble)
Way of wearing bandana of men and women
Besides áo bà ba and scarf, some wealthier people in Mekong Delta in the past as civil servants, merchants, landowners ... had more luxurious way of dressing, especially in the end of the twentieth century when Vietnam began the Westernization movement, these classes was influenced by the Western attire. They rarely wore traditional costume, instead, they wore jacket, duck shoes, collared shirt and tie ... And wealthy landowners wore "turban, black áo dài, white pants, a walking stick, had beard and waxed".

In holidays, the costumes became vestments; therefore, people dressed correctly, neatly and politely. The costume which was considered popular vestment in the past was áo dài with turban. The costume was usually worn for ceremonies in temples or wedding, the mourning, ...


The Bandana (Black and White Scarf) and   Áo Bà Ba (Vietnamese Silk Ensemble)
The traditional costume of Vietnamese wealthy men in XX century
If there is a funeral in the family, the funeral outfit are generally white as the primary color, are sewn from cheap rough fabrics indicating their feelings for the deceased with the meaning: when the parents or grandparents passed away, the children are so distressing that they dot not care about what to dress. The sons of the dead wear straw hat, while daughters and daughters in law wear the mourning bonnets, relatives and friends wind mourning headband around their forehead.

Today, along with the development of society, human life is raised. The demand for dressing change from having warm clothes to well. People buy themselves the most beautiful, the most expensive clothes (in their financial abilities). During exchanges with Western culture, many new outfits have appeared; however, the bandanna and áo bà ba have not lost because they are the symbols characteristic of people in Mekong River Delta- especially the women. They are also the symbols of cultural identity which need preserving.

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Part 1 : The Bandana and Áo Bà Ba (Vietnamese Silk Ensemble)

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