There is no thing called “Wearing loincloths culture” in Hung King Dynasty

Posted at: MONday - 21/04/2014 16:38 - post name: Nguyễn Thị Thùy

The spinning found in Doi Giam site (Viet Tri) in Phung Nguyen culture period 4,500 years ago

The spinning found in Doi Giam site (Viet Tri) in Phung Nguyen culture period 4,500 years ago

It is time to rapidly remove thing called “Wearing Loincloth Culture” out of people awareness of the Hung King’s dynasty costume because it is a serious misunderstand.

People have thought that Hung King had wore loincloth for many year and then they assigned “Wearing loincloth culture” for Hung King’s time to draw, to model clays and even to perform. It can be say that they did not concern to the expert’s findings of textiles in Hung Kings dynasty.


Come with the legend, Au Co taught people how to cultivate rice, plan mulberry, and weave cloth, archaeologists have found a lot of spinning in sites belong to Phung Nguyen culture period 4,500 years ago. Prof. Dr. Han Van Khan – a reputable archaeologists concluded: “Spinning was fairly popular in Phung Nguyen culture which was being made of quite smooth or rough clay... the spinning’s diameter is around 0.6 to 2 cm... Therefore, weaving has been common in Phung Nguyen culture so the residents of this culture had at least two kinds of cloth, were bard cloth and fabrics”

This can be seen clearly shroud marks on bones in some tombs in Hung Kings dynasty at Lam Thao (Phu Tho) belongs to Go Mun culture 3,000 years ago. Shrouds had been found in Chau Can (Ha Tay), Viet Khe (Hai Phong) graves in Dong Son culture from 2,800 years ago to the 2nd century B.C,

- There were carved dancers dancing in long dress on the 1st class Dong Son bronze 2,800 years ago.

In 2005, two archeologists Dr. Nguyen Viet and Dr. Bui Van Liem had collaborated with two Australian colleagues, excavated the tomb in Dong Xa (Hung Yen) aged 2100 (± 60). They found an undamaged shroud which wrapped some layers of cloths... They conclude: “The Vietnamese – Australian archaeological team’s fabric data in Dong Xa stated that weaving fabric had been developed in metal era in the north of Vietnam (Hung Kings dynasty) and cloth played an important role in Dong Son burials, not only for making clothes but also for making mats, covering cloths and shrouds.


- In volume I “Vietnam History” books published by Science and Society Publisher in 1971 wrote: “The sign of fabric appeared on many bronze and clay objects. Human statues and human figures carved on bronze drum showed that, the costumes were very diversity. The Lac Viet wore pullovers with buttons on the left”

- In “Vinh Phu history” book published by Vinh Phu Company in 1980 wrote: “Many clay spinning had been found in some archaeological sites. There was fabric mark printed on bones in some tombs at Tu Xa. Based on carved pictures on bronze drum, we can see that people wore pullovers with buttons on the left at that time. At the end of Hung King dynasty, the high class dressed up luxuriously. In archaeological site at Lang Ca (Viet Tri), archaeologists found the brass belt buckle, with four well-designed tortoise carved each side, which is predicted to belong to a military mandarin.

In the 1st to 2nd century, the Han and the Ngo had occupied the country and forced people to tribute Cat Ba cloth (a smooth white cotton fabric), banana silk cloth, and silk. When the Tang dominated, they taxed on craft men by fabric, silk, silk gauze. This shows that, our textiles since B.C has been very diversity, beautiful and attract to foreigners.

Picture of Dong Xa shroud in details

With these scientific evidences, our nation had been able to produce silk, silk fabric for 3 to 4 thousands years. Therefore, it would be nonsense if the king and officials had to wear loincloths in meetings.

As the legend, Chu Dong Tu was too poor to have his own loin cloth but sharing one with his father. This was because he was too poor while the others must have had cloths. The truth is, Vietnamese used to use loin as underwear. Except fish men, who had to working in swallows, they just wore loincloth for convenient. The ancestor’s costume remained before The August revolution showed that: The woman wore loincloth and brassiere inside with coat and dress outside while man wore loincloth in side and “lá tọa” pan with button-on-left coat outside. “Lá tọa” pan has two very wide tube, like a skirt being cut in the middle up to the seat, sew the tubes without belt and use the wide upper hem call “lá tọa” to tight.

Picture of carved dancer wearing long dress on first class Dong Son bronze drum 2800 year ago

That was about clothes of normal people but for kings and officers in any dynasty include Hung King, their clothes were always the best quality and the most luxury fabric. The costumes were also at the higher level especially in terms of religion and art. The Gods always wore enough coats, hats, mandarin’s boots despite their circumstances before. The characters on the stage dressed more luxurious than in normal life, too.

Let’s check. At the same time with Hung King Dynasty, the Northern, except the Hoang Ha river valley, most of the mountainous area, people did cultivation on milpa so they could not be compared with the Lac Viet who cultivated rice. But in Chinese movies about that time, from kings to officers, generals, soldiers and normal people, they wore fabulous clothes to be proud of their nation while we pull our ancestors down to be backward by being naked and wore loincloths. That was a big misunderstanding and had no clues.

It is time to rapidly remove thing called “Wearing Loincloth Culture” out of people awareness of the Hung King’s dynasty costume because it is a serious misunderstand.

Besides fabric information, we could see that people in Hung Kings dynasty had aesthetic love. On the ceramic surface, there were 35 beautiful floral patterns and many sophisticated bracelets, earing, necklaces made of precious stone. We could make the copy of the first class Dong Son but it’s still not able to compare with the original. Such a resident could not use loincloth as main costumes.


Translated by Nga Nguyen




Author: Knowledge
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