The Tay Ho village is the hometown of the Hue conical hats - a thing is considered as the beauty of Hue’s soul. Located near Nhu Y river, the Tay Ho village (Phu Ho commune, Phu Vang district, Thua Thien-Hue province) has long been well-known for traditional conical hat making craft. The conical hat making craft has established for 100 years and poem conical hats – a typical feature of Hue also originates from Tay Ho village (the land has been famous for beautiful girls).
The poem conical hat was first made in Tay Ho village by accident. In period 1959- 1960, Mr. Bui Quang Bac- a craftsman of making conical hats and also a poetic lover in the village who had an idea to make the poem conical hat by adding poems between two layers of leaves, highlight the beauty of the conical hats (at that time, Hue's conical hats were mainly sold to Southern market). The first two verses are pressed into the conical hat by Mr. Bac: “Who visits poetic Hue, buy the conical hat as the gift”.
Women in Tay Ho village at the age of 10 learn to make conical hats by themselves and some people spend their whole life to make this traditional craft. To men, apart from farming, they help women iron leaves or cut bamboo to make frames. A kind of bamboo, they sophisticatedly polished bamboo strands into 16 strands; then bend them into round rings. To get beautiful leaves, craftsmen often choose leaves remaining light blue, iron leaves many times until flat and smooth. After that leaves will be attached to the frame. This stage is called “cham,” which is usually made by young girls. Hue’s conical hats are famous thanks to this stage.
Hue’s conical hats always have two layers of leaves. Craftsmen must be very skillful to make the two layers very thin. After this stage, the hats will be covered by oil and dried under the sun.
At the first time, the poetic conical hat was made to present relatives, but after that, it is preferred by a lot of people. Since then, craftsmen have started to produce the poetic conical hat for sale. The verses which are pressed into hats are more diverse. They usually are verses of Hue.
Moreover, to make the hat more beautiful, craftsmen also add paintings of Huong river and Ngu mountain next to verses. Over quite long time, the poetic hat is the exclusive products of Tay Ho village.