THE CHAM

An Phuoc is a 7 year old girl from the Cham community and is known as the ‘girl with the cat eyes’ in her village. Her incredible blue eyes, which look like two azure marbles, make her notably different from other girls in her community. I soon discovered that her paternal great-grandfather was French, explaining this unique feature. Her father also has blue eyes while her sister has one blue and one hazel.

On my way to explore the Cham community, one of my followers on Facebook told me about this little girl. At first the family wasn’t so open to being photographed due to a bad experience with a journalist but by putting my camera away and listening to their story, they became more comfortable. I was invited back to take photos and ended up staying for two days. This reaffirms my belief that you have to connect with people first before you photograph them. This photo and the articles related, have been featured in numerous Vietnamese publications, as well as international media like National Geographic, BBC, Business Insider, Independent UK and has recently been the cover of Globe-Trotters and Geo magazine in France.

 

Population

161 729 people (Census 2009)

Location

Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, An Giang

Arrival

Founder of Kingdom of Champa (2nd Century)
 
THE LO LO
THE MANG
THE LA HU
THE GIAY
THE HA NHI
THE MA
THE KHMERS KROM
THE CHU RU
THE CHO RO
THE HRE