Giving a Voice to Local History: Hmong Communities of Northern Vietnam
The Hmong community in Sa Pa, Vietnam received a Genographic Project Legacy Fund grant to record oral histories of community elders, document traditional craft production and spread cultural knowledge to Hmong youth. The Genographic Project Legacy Fund, funded by a portion of the proceeds from Geno 2.0 DNA Ancestry Kits, helps to revitalize indigenous languages and cultures around the world.
By Anika Rice, NG Explorer Programs
Imagine yourself in a village in the uplands of Northern Vietnam. Terraced rice fields are etched into the landscape, hugged by crisp mountain air from the high-elevation climate. Buffalo or goats from a neighboring household may be chewing on vegetation. Hemp and indigo, for making cloth, grow nearby. Small communities such as this one are where many Hmong people in Northern Vietnam live, making their livelihoods in a variety of ways. Families produce crops and trade agricultural products. Hmong women uphold age-old craft traditions by making hemp cloth, embroidering intricate motifs on clothing, and dyeing cloth with indigo and batik techniques.
In this region, Hmong migrated from China beginning in the 18th century. Hmong communities exist today all over the Southeastern Asian Massif, namely the high elevation areas of Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Southwest —> Read More Here