NÓN LÁ

(Conical Hat)
Non la & Hue’s young ladies

Non la, the distinctive conical palm hat, has always been a symbol of Vietnam, closely linked people & their daily lives.

When discussing this hat, constructed of dried palm leaves, thin bamboo strips curved into rings & gut, Vietnamese & foreign tourists talk about the central city of Hue, famous for the image of a young lady wearing a violet ao dai & a non la. High school girls in their pure white ao dai with non la on their heads or in their hands look lovely & charming. If shy or embarrassed, they tilt their hats to cover the faces. How beautiful that is!

The Hue hats are elegant & many are fashioned as “poem palm hats.” Hold one against the sun to reveal an illustration of Thien Mu Pagoda or Trang Tien Bridge & some line of verse woven into the palm leaves.

This is the reason why they are popular among many tourist, to wear or as souvenir. Non la can protect them from the sun & also serve as a fan. In a Pinch, it can become a basket to carry rice, fruit or even water for a short period of time.Together with nem (sour pork hash), pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), the miraculous monochord, & the butterfly-like lissome ao dai, the conical hat has become an expression of the national spirit.

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