15:39 | 06/02/2019 Culture & Art
(VEN) - To He (toy figurine) is a traditional toy for children in Vietnam which is made from glutinous rice powder in form of edible figurine such as animals, flowers or characters in folk stories. In the past, To He was made and sold only on the occasion of festivals, especially Tet (lunar New Year holiday) and the Mid-autumn Festival which are the favorite festivals of Vietnamese children.
Nowadays, the toy is introduced in almost all traditional festivals and in public places like parks or gardens. As To He is one of the rare surviving traditional toys of Vietnam, the art of To He making is considered a cultural ambassador of Vietnam and there are many efforts in order to preserve and develop this traditional art.
To create a To He figurine, the craftsman needs a mixture of glutinous and ordinary rice powders which is easily to knead into different shapes and edible for children, bamboo sticks to plant the shaped To He and his own skill in graphic depicting. Modeled by the hand of the craftsmen, the forms of tò he figurine are drawn from animals, flowers and characters in folk stories.
The procedure of To He making requires utmost patience from the craftsman, but almost all To He makers are men and there is an unwritten law in families of To He craftsmen that secret in making To He is only passed from father to sons and daughters-in-law, not to daughters.