The Eye of the Rice paddies
Explore #351 on Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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Hmong, Sapa -- We are planting the Rice now.
The paddies are flooded with water and plowing and repairing the edges starts early and continues for a few weeks. Here is over view of one of the many wonderful sites. The Hmong arrived last to this mountainous area of average height of 1,600 – 1,800 meters above sea level. So they had no choice but to cultivate the mountain slopes. In this image you can see, in the centre, the green rice and around it (see my notes) paddies that are being prepared, some that will not be used this time and some that rice already been planted. In previous image I explained the process of the final plowing, just before planting. And yes you can see some planters as well.
The rice planting season has just start and everyone will be busy in the labor intensive process.
To answer questions regarding my close contact; I spend all my time with them, morning to night… in the paddy up to my knees... I will describe it later. The buffalos don’t especially like me and standing in the narrow paddy needs some watching, they could be temperamental… the buffalos :)
The following set of images was taken 3 years ago.
The Black Hmong are the 3rd largest minority in Vietnam with nearly 900,000 people. In the Sapa region there are about 35,000 residing in the surrounding 17 villages and they account for about 50% of the area population. The Hmong started migrating to Vietnam from china in the last 300 years. They live of the land and believe in the spirits.