NON LA (Leaf Hats)
An image commonly associated with Vietnamese girls, the Non La, or leaf hat, first appeared in the 13th century (Quan dynasty) and has come to symbolize the spirit of the country. Creatively made from soft bamboo leaves, the hat usually consists of 16 to 18 rims. These rims are shaped into conical-form and hand-sewn together. Finally, the hat is trimmed and painted with a coat of attar old to keep it clean, smooth, and water-proof. The hat is kept on the head by a cloth (often silk) chin strap; an internal band of the same material keeps the hat itself from resting on the wearer's head.
Leaf hats are used primarily as protection from the sun and rain. They are also dipped in water and worn as an impromptu evaporative-cooling device.
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