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Red Dzao little girl with traditional hat - Vietnam | by Eric Lafforgue
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Red Dzao little girl with traditional hat - Vietnam

For Tet, little kids wear this traditional hat. This little girl had her hair shaved by her Red Dzao mother for the New Year. It is also a way to hide the fresh haircut! Dzao women also shave part of their hair in daily life.

Because of the mist and the fog, i have never had a so bad light during my trips... but this one works good. To get the black background, no photoshop, just ask the people to stay at the entrance of their house , in the middle of the door!

Ta Phin village, near Sapa

Red Dzao are a subgroup of the Dao, one of the 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam. There are about 470,000 of them living in northern Vietnam, close to the chinese border (a lot can also be found in China and Laos). They originally migrated from China during the 19th century. Hence Dao have long used Chinese writings (but pronounced in the Dao way) called Nom Dao.

The Dao worship their ancestors called Ban Ho. Dao people build their houses either on stilts, level with the ground, or half on stilts and half on beaten earth.

Dao wear traditional clothes. Dao women are famous for only cutting their twice in their life, first at the age of 18 and then 38. They respect this custom as it is considered a sign of beauty for them. They do their hair by putting it back up on their head and sometimes by adding hair that has already been cut and that they inherited from their mother or grandmothers. Men and women cover their heads with a black or red scarves. Some women substitute this scarf by a turban that can adopt different forms. The traditional suit of the women is of bright colors. They also decorate their shirts with decorations made out of silver.

The Dao mainly live of rice cultivation and by growing subsidiary crops. Yet their economy is also based on weaving, carpentry, blacksmithing, papermaking and vegetable oil production.


© Eric Lafforgue

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Taken on February 2, 2011