Photographer's Note

Craig showed a Cuban man with a huge cigar, here the portrait of Vietnamese man with rather small cigarette. What I found delightful in Vietnam were these conical Asian hats.
Non la (palm-leaf conical hat) is a traditional symbol of Vietnamese people without age, sex or racial distinctions.
Like many other traditional costumes of Vietnam, Non la has its own origin, coming from a legend related to the history of rice growing in Vietnam. The story is about a giant woman from the sky who has protected humankind from a deluge of rain. She wore a hat made of four round shaped leaves to guard against all the rain. After the Goddess was gone, Vietnamese built a temple to commemorate her as the Rain-shielding Goddess.
Vietnamese tried to make a hat modelling after the Goddess' by stitching together palm leaves, which is now known as Non la. The image of Non la has become strongly associated with peasant lives from the paddy field to both men and women.
Non la is made out of such simple and available materials as palm leaves, bark of Moc tree and bamboo.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13512 W: 141 N: 35069] (158172)
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