Cat Cat Village – The Mongolian cultural space in Sapa
Introduction to Cat Cat village
Located in the northwestern part of the country, Sa Pa is a highland district of Lao Cai province, 376 km from Hanoi – a land of humility, quietly but hides many wonders of the natural scenery. About 3km from Sapa, Cat Cat village (Sapa, Lao Cai) is a Mongolian ethnic village, located beside Cat Cat waterfall (Tien Sa waterfall), at the foot of Hoang Lien Son mountain with three sides of majestic mountains. Coming to Cat Cat village, tourists will learn about the ethnic culture associated with the wild nature, this is a suitable address for tourists who are tired of urban life.
The road to Cat Cat village is quite beautiful, you will go through winding bends, the two sides are terraced fields and sparkling houses. When walking down Cat Cat, passing the steep concrete paved road will reach the stone steps. Continue go through the Si bridge to reach the center of Cat Cat, where there is the convergence of 3 streams: Tien Sa stream, Golden stream and Silver stream.
Formed in the mid-19th century, Cat Cat village consists of many Mong ethnic families living on the slopes, gathering together and they cultivate right on those hillsides.
Visiting the village, the city dwellers will find it unfamiliar with the three-room wooden shingle houses which is commonly known as “The Trinh Tuong House”. The inside of the house is quite simple with a place of worship and a floor to store food through the cold season, a sleeping place, kitchen and reception place…. Usually, the house has 3 doors with the main door in the middle.
Visit the Trinh Tuong house with typical architecture of H’mong people.
The people here are farmers, cultivating rice on terraced fields. In addition, villagers are also good at growing cotton, flax, weaving, silver carving, and jewelry making. Visitors can visit the traditional handicraft village in the village directly.
Tourists shop for brocade products of Cat Cat villagers
Brocade is woven by the Mong with only four main colors: blue, red, white and yellow. However, there are many shapes and patterns … with indigo dyeing technique from ash and leaves.
Silver, copper and aluminum carvings in Cat Cat village are plentiful and favored by tourists. For example, jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, …
Customs and habits
The villagers still preserve the typical culture with the traditional costumes of the Mong. Women still use the cloth wrapped around their heads to make towels, coats with embroidered necklines. Belts are embroidered with elaborate motifs with 2 tassels. The skirt has a conical pleated cone with tight buttocks, and the body is spread out. The men still wear hats made of linen, the inner shirt is split under the armpits, and a long coat is worn outside.
A boy – girl in traditional H’Mong clothing
The villagers still retain the custom of “Pulling a wife”. If a boy falls in love with a girl, they will organize a ceremony to ask friends to “pull” the girl home and keep her for three days. If the girl agrees to be a wife, there will be a wedding ceremony otherwise they will be friends again.
If you travel in the beginning of the year, you will be able to attend the Buckwheat Festival held to bless or pray for the villagers. In addition, tourists also find it interesting to admire the typical dances of the Mong people. The same sound of khene leaves, the sound of the Mong flute, and the sound of the singing.