Hmong life of pride
Explore #7 on Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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At 86, Thao A Jul, is fully alert and always busy, says his grand children. Here he is making a delicate heddle (a loom part, see Wiki link below) from bamboo, with a machine like precision (see bottom left). He made the rope that holds it all together, from hemp, with a special strong weave that will last for many years. His great grand daughter, Thom, insisted on being held by him while she was finishing the last slice of a pomegranate. The tool is made by his son, Giang A Ga, an expert metal smith. The Hmong are well known for producing the best metal tools, strong and sharp.
I’ve known Jul for over a year now, his kids tell about his service in the Vietnamese army serving in “all the wars”, the French, American, Chinese… Surrounded by his family now, he is always doing something; bringing wood, herding the buffalos, cooking, washing cloth, preparing natural medicine for healing ceremonies he often conduct.
And did you notice? No glasses. A life to be envied.
Below you can see some pix I took recently of his family, during the rice harvest, in the Sa Pa village at an altitude of 1,800 m.
(Look for heddle here) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loom