"Tò he" toys are sculptured figurines fashioned from colored rice dough, that make not only Vietnamese children but also adults feel so interesting.

In the old days, when comics and illustrated books had yet come into existence in Vietnam, “tò he” was made to depict different heroes and ordinary people of daily life, symbolic animals like dragon or phoenix or daily-viewed water buffaloes, flowers and all beautiful things in fairy and history tales.

Children gathered at the common place of the village to listen to stories, see the king and mandarins in their elaborate costumes made by skillful craftsmen to imagine the whole vivid world of heroes and fairies.

The village of Xuan La in Phu Xuyen District, Hanoi is well-known for its skill in making delicate “tò he” toys. “Tò he” makers do not teach the craft to women because the fathers fear their daughters will reveal precious trade secrets to their husbands’ families.

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