From the Old Days

Buon Ma Thout, December 31st 2010

We didn't just learn about coffee. We learned also about the old days of Vietnam.

Tin, our tour guide, pointed at the edge of the rooftop. Yes, it does have an oldish characteristic. To me it looked very much Chinese. Just like the Chinese old houses in Jakarta.
Hmmm... I don't know for sure what you call this in English. A "marquee"? Anyway, what I want to tell you about is that the rooftop of whatsoever this is called, was said to be brought from Hoi An. Ah well, even the name of the town "Hoi An", sounds Chinese. Don't you think so?

This long flower pot, if you can say so, is made from a single tree trunk. They tear out the inside of the tree trunk and fill it with soil and plants. There comes the "flower pot". 

Back to the marquee or whatsoever it should be called. Look carefully at the 2 pillars on both sides of the staircase. It represents a woman. Why a woman? Well.. IMHO, why do say "housewife" and never say "househusband"?
And now let's enter the house... opsss, the marquee? Inside we could see various stuffs from the olden times. 
In this part I witnessed various bamboo baskets which used to be carried on the back. I have seen the tribes in Sapa and also in Dalat, carrying baskets like these.

Various tools to plow the fields.
 For pounding rice.
Clay jars of all sizes.

But, this particular big jar brings my memory to the communal rice-wine-drinking in Jun Village the day before. It's undoubtedly the same kind of jar.

This is a familiar musical instrument for my eyes. We call it "kendang". To know more about "kendang" you can refer here. It says, both heads of each drum are covered with a skin, usually from goat or buffalo. However, this "kendang" from Vietnam is also covered with skin, but elephant skin. An article in Wikipedia says, an elephant's skin is extremely tough around most parts of its body and measures about 2.5 centimetres (1.0 in) thick.
 How tough an elephant's skin can be, should not be questioned as it can be used to make a shield, and a shield is to protect one's body. On the worst case, to protect one's life. Any human being with the slightest intelligence, would absolutely find the toughest stuff to protect his life.

Apparently, the use of elephant skin as a shield has dated centuries ago. I happened to bump into this post. Really interesting.

Another use of elephant skin is to produce a rope.

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