M’Nong is one of three and the largest indigenous ethnic group in Dak Nong province, who has lived in this area for thousands of years. This region used to be called the M’Nong plateau showing the importance of this ethnicity. Their way of life is closely related to the forest and they deeply understand every hill, mountain, terrain. That has helped them to protect their territory through many fights among various tribes and even invaders from oversea. M’Nong know how to live and survive in the jungle by using natural materials.
With the area of 963,5ha, Kon Hao village has the highest population of the M’Nong ethnic group (nearly 5,000 people), living together with Kinh, Ma and Dao people. Local M’Nong ethnic group maintains many traditional handcrafts like knitting, brocade weaving, besides growing coffee, pepper, rubber, rice, and orchard planting.
Traditional knitting requires well-crafted, precise skills but now is mostly kept as archive through memory, from generation to generation. Men of the family are in charge of knitting objects for agriculture, life, hunting and collecting, such as: large and flat basket, etc… Material for knitting is from various kinds of bamboo, with rattan (for tying corners, straps, product patterns). Knitting skill mainly is single set, double set or triple set for each bamboo bar, or hexagon setting with complicated bamboo bar knotting. There are many shapes of pattern such as fish bone, canari shape around the object trunk and chop. The mainly colors are smoky brown and black from soaking in mud or scrubbing with coal to create the shiny appearance. Every finished product is placed above a fire to smoke-dry and increase its strength.
Currently, in this village, there are more than 10 good skilled knitting artisans from a young generation who have inherited the skills. The knitted products are necessary objects having strong agricultural associations with the local ethnic group.