Friday, November 7, 2008

Into Hmong territory

As you head into the mountains in the north west you begin to encounter the Hmong people. They traditionally live up in the mountains whereas the Thai live in the river valleys. Hmong live in small village and practice dry rice cultivation, building large terraced fields on the sides of the hills.The Hmong are very colourful with beautiful embroidered skirts and jackets. They sit outside their houses hand embroidering these intricate designs onto hand dyed cloth. The basic cloth they use is hemp, home spun, woven on looms and died with natural indigo. Everyone has blue-green hands as a result.Schooling hasn't ever been a high priority for the Hmong, but we did pass a small schoolhouse made of bamboo with a few desks and chairs and a blackboard. They tend to marry very young and there were certainly lots of young mothers around. The older Hmong don't like having their photos taken, believing you are capturing their soul, but the younger generations seem to have no concerns.The scenery continues to be stunning, passing through more mountain passes, occasionally being delayed by repair work on the numerous landslides that occur. No problem for us, it's a chance to get out of the car and take more photos.

We arrived in Mai Chau to rain and fog, which means the market won't be crowded with locals as the rain will keep them away. Nevermind, next it's on to Sapa which is tourist town extraordinaire.

More Photos.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Naomi, many of your photo's are beautiful. It is great to see your very broad & happy smile. Sounds like you are having a fantastic time. Thinking of you. Love Rhonda, Alan, Demi, Maddy & Carter.