I was aware of the Hmong people before I went up to the mountains in Northern Vietnam, near the Chinese border, to take photographs of the amazing rice terraces near Sapa (those photos coming later). It turns out there is a fairly large population of Hmong immigrants back in my home area of Northwest Arkansas.
A friend of mine represented one of the Hmong immigrants in a very public murder trial a few years back and part of his defense in that case was on cultural grounds, so I had at least an inkling that this tribe was out there.
I was unaware of how beautiful their clothing, at least that worn by the women, was. On a brief two day tour up in Northern Vietnam, we got to go to a Sunday market in the town of Bac Ha. All of these pictures are just from those few hours at that market. It was a lovely experience.
You truly captured their lives! They look battered, beaten down. They remind me very much of the Maya in Guatemala. Just as colorful, but brought down by the hardships of life!
My favorite is the man with the cigarrette over the chicks. We get the freaks here that are constantly screaming animal rights, blah blah blah, when these people need some human rights first!
Saw some of these on G+, I think, and I’m still blown away by the fluorescent colors of the clothing. I disagree with Marina, I don’t they look beaten down. They look spirited and strong. I wouldn’t want to eff with the lady in the last photo.
Stunning photography! Really visceral and captivating!
Certainly very colourful. Looks like a really great experience and there’s nothing like walking around an Asian market.
Truly amazing. Nice Perspective & great photography!
Great photos, I agree they don’t look beaten down to me. I always enjoy the markets because that is where you get to really meet the people and capture the community.
Fabulous photography! Especially curious about the color – what camera did you use and/or did you tweak some of them in PS?
In any case, they’re wondrous! And furthermore – making me anxious to hop on that plane to Hanoi. In just 10 days (yikes!) I’ll be finally moving to Vietnam, and Sapa is #1 (or, as they say in VN, #Một) on my itinerary, before I head down to Saigon to take the CELTA and teach EFL.
“2 day tour”, eh? + 2 nts. train. Did you do it all on your own (as I plan to)? And did you do a homestay for a nt. or two?
Gorgeous shots. I first learned about the Hmong in a college jpurnalism course by reading the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Interesting perspective and definitely haunting.
Nice work, Michael! I need to remember to take more shots of people when I travel, instead of just wildlife and scenery…
Beautiful photos – looking forward to more!
I’m loving these pics! Super weird that they have the same color scheme on their clothing as some Guatemalan women do. The textiles are out of this world!
I can’t describe the feeling looking at these pictures…especially the first one….did you Doc it?…it is a great picture
Great photos! I visited some hill tribes in northern Laos, but never made it to Vietnam. Hope to make it on the next trip to SEA.
Great photo essay, it has been several years since I was in Vietnam but the color and the beauty of these pics brings me right back.