Hat Economics

In the developed world the conical bamboo leaf hat has become a trite symbol of the rural poor of South East Asia. And yet here in Vietnam these much loved hats are beautifully constructed examples of where form and function intersect.  A group of women working together intensely, can make about one and a half hats a day per person. This earns them about $2 each, which believe it or not is well above the “poverty line”. They are sold to locals not tourists and act as sunshades, umbrellas, fruit baskets and fans.