All three ethnic minorities – Ma, E De, M’Nong do brocade weaving and the product’s quality is very high. Traditionally, the women of Ma, E De, M’Nong groups must know how to weave clothes and blankets to meet the “self-sufficient” needs of the family. Thus, weaving skill is the criterion for evaluating a woman. Brocade weaving is a handicraft which is passed from one generation to the next within a family. If a child/ grandchild is skillful in weaving, the loom will be handed over to them from their mother/grandmother.
The traditional materials in brocade weaving of the ethnic minorities are cotton fabrics from cotton trees. Cotton trees are planted at the beginning of the rainy season – around May and harvested at the end of the rainy season, around December or January. After harvest, cottons are dried for 1-2 days before being span into separate threads, rolled and dyed. Depending on the required color, different types of weeds/trees will be used for dying.
The finished products will be used to make clothes and blankets. The patterns and colours of the E De brocade are very meaningful. The basic and primary colors in traditional ethnic costumes are black and red in which black represents the earth and red is the symbol of the sun.
Usually, the male shirts are black, with reddish border and yellowish dots on the chest, symbolizing the sun and its light. Female shirts have bright pattern lines standing out of the black background, reflecting the purity and brightness of the girl. In general, brocade weaving is a popular work in the tradition of the native ethnic minorities in Dak Nong. As people still evaluate the adeptness and skillfulness of a woman through her ability to weave, this occupation is always present in the life of the ethnic groups here. The techniques and patterns of brocade weaving also vary in each group, which creates a unique feature of this profession in each ethnic minorities in Dak Nong.