Vietnam is home to over 54 ethnic minorities tribes mainly residing in the highlands in Central and Northern Vietnam. They scratch a living mainly from farming, growing black beans, sweet potatoes and selling tapestries.
Each tribe has its own unique style of clothing. They are poor, malnourished, hence diminutive in size. They are fiercely independent and are generally mistrustful of the Vietnamese, consequently few venture to the lowlands. Most tribes still speak their native dialect but they are equally conversant speaking Vietnamese.
My picture here depicts 3 minority tribes that we visited.
Their name denotes the use red to decorate their clothing. There are two unique features of this tribe. The first is that you can know how rich a woman is by the size of her hat. The second is that to be beautiful it is thought that women should have as little body hair as possible...thus they often shave their hair and eyebrows.
Distinguished by their dark indigo clothing encrusted with intricate and elaborate embroidery in bright, contrasting colours. Their calves are bind to prevent this area from growing large and muscular. Small calves (and feet) are a sign of beauty for women.
Women generally marry around the age of 16, at that time men often “steal” these young women and bring them to their homes. If the woman refuses to eat for three days she is let go to return to her home. Should she take food, she is “accepting” of the man and will likely marry.
Uniquely colourful for the exuberant bands of multi-coloured embroidery that decorate their clothing. They are known for their stunning needlework ( a highly prized traditional art).