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Photographer's Note

The old French hill station of Sapa has been for sometimes a popular destination for vacationing Vietnamese seeking to avoid the lowland heat. Most of the people who live in town are ethnic Vietnamese, but during the day we would see many local ethnic minorities coming into town to do business. These hill tribes can easily be identified by the variations of their colorful clothing. The two dominant ethnic minorities around Sapa are the Black Hmong and the Red Dzao.

The Red Dzao women stand apart than the entrepreneurial Black Hmong. The women wear some of the most colorful and diverse costumes of all ethnic groups but can be identified by their black indigo trousers richly embroidered with flower or small star patterns. Their black tops are embroidered, often with flower motifs and the ensemble is topped by red scarves and the elaborately hugh shaped red turban. In addition, they shave off their eyebrows and foreheads as this is traditionally regarded as a sign of beauty.

This is a portrait of Red Dzao woman, shot taken at Tha Pin village north east of Sapa on a cloudy cool morning. In the rapid global uniformization of today's world, it is refreshing to see this untouched beauty in humanity. But whether this hill tribe culture will survive into the 21st century is unclear. No one would want to deny them progress, or a better standard of living, brought by the introduction of electricity, education and tourist revenues. However, it would be sad that as in other countries, progress could only be gained by cleansing the tribes of their age-old traditional culture.....

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3898 W: 144 N: 8937] (38738)
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