To Mong people in general and Mong people living in Mu Cang Chai district in particular, Pao throwing has been an indispensable folk game in holidays and traditional festivals, including Gau Tao spring festival. It not only serves as a recreational activity but also a community-connectivity one. The silk ball of Pao therefore plays an important role in Mong people’s life as a symbol of love.

Making the silk ball of Pao is not so sophisticated yet it requires makers’ patience and delicacy.

To make a beautiful rounded Pao, Mong women must first collect fabrics and linen strings. The piece of cloth is cut into strips and then rolled into a sphere. After that, they tie the linen string around the Pao until it is round and fist-sized. Finally, layers of silk cloth are used to cover the fabric sphere.

All the procedures are made only by hands.

The folk game of Pao throwing is often held at a vast area. The game is participated by either male–female or female-female couples.

During festivals, couples with feeling for each other often join in the game. After the game, if a man is interested in his game partner, he may keep the silk ball with him, making it a symbol for love.

Despite where they live, Mong people always regard the folk game of Pao throwing as a distinctive cultural value that needs preserving.-VNA