THE KHMERS KROM

The Khmers Krom – literally meaning Khmer from below – live in the south of Vietnam where they constitute the second ethnic group of the Mekong Delta, after the Kinh. Generally speaking, it is very rare to come across the Khmer traditional costume in their everyday life. The young generation don’t like wearing it and prefer western looking clothes that they can buy from the market. Only women of over 50 years of age still wear it regularly to go to the temple, and shave their hair as a sign of respect for the Buddha. I only ever visited one village where two or three families are still able to make it. Yet, this silk costume is a true wonder, with patterns replicating Buddhist images of the temple. In the past, the Khmers produced their own silk, but they now buy it from the Vietnamese, and if they still dye yarns with coloured powders, these no longer come from the forest but from Thailand.

I met Neàng Phong, 83 years old on the photo, a few years ago while she was sewing the traditional costume on her doorstep. When I went back, she recognized me, and I immortalized her on this beautiful image with the costume.

 

Population

1260640 people (Census 2009)

Location

Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Tien Giang, An Giang, Hau Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long

Arrival

Migrated in the 15th century
 
THE MUONG
THE CO LAO
THE PHU LA
THE GIAY
THE LA HU
THE CHAM
THE CO TU
THE RAGLAI
The Stieng
THE XO DANG