The Hmong People of North Vietnam

Rice HarvestPhoto: Istvan KadarTraditional way of life: The Rice Harvest

In Vietnam, the Hmong people are one of the largest ethnic minorities (around 900,000 people). They are principally concentrated in the mountainous north of the country and usually live at high altitudes. Different ethnic categories co-exist and can easily be identified by the way they dress and their traditions.

The Black Hmongs are best known for their handicraft and their traditional indigo blue dress. Flower Hmongs, on the other hand, wear colorful clothes, and it is not difficult to find them during market days.

Flower HmongPhoto: Rudi Roels

Colourful Flower Hmong

Nowadays, Hmong hotspots such as Sapa are becoming large tourist attractions. On market days, the town is completely crowded with Western people looking for handicraft works, the exotic and all things genuine – although Sapa remains completely empty during the week. A new form of income has appeared which is transforming the Hmong people’s way of life and ancestral traditions little by little.