The Fabric of Hmong
One of the most memorable moment during my trip to Vietnam was my encounter to the Hmong – the minority tribe. Hmong people live in a fascinating world of fabrics and colors. The colors of their cloth identify one among the varieties of Hmong tribe that existed. In Sa Pa I met with the Black Hmong, Red Hmong, and Flower Hmong.
Bắc Hà weekend market was a melting pot for the Flower Hmongs and travellers. It was a once-a-week community market where locals socialized and did their groceries chores. A place where everything from rain boots to buffalos, fruits to local corn wine were sold.
It was an exquisite treat to see a vibrant interactions of – mostly women -in robes of rich color and patterns. They carried piles of harvest, negotiated the prices of boars, back carried their sleeping babies, or chose a new skirt to wear.
The Hmongs wove their own fabrics and wore the clothes in layers: inner blouse, skirts, waist belt, shoulder cap, leg warmer, bags, head scarf. All of which comes in distinct pallet and simple cross stitches which layered to create their traditional ornaments.
In the Hmong community, one’s marital status, tribe, and village origin are identified through their look. Without formal education in color proportion, composition, or pattern-making, the Hmongs shaped their presence through these shades of yarn. Catching beauty, a thread at a time. – Rassi Narika
Many thanks again to Arif W. Brago and Dika Satya for lending their eyes through these images.