THE SAN DIU
The San Diu live in Tuyen Quang and Thai Nguyen provinces. In the past, they used to grow cotton and indigo flowers to weave and dye their traditional costumes. Now, they mainly buy the fabric in the market, then sew it to match the ancient San Diu style. The women rarely wear the costumes now, only those who sing at ethnic festivals might have new ones. However, many of the villagers still seemed proud to own these heritage garments and were happy to show them off. One of the families even gave me a costume to display in the museum. I met Mac Thi Sinh, the 75-year-old woman in this portrait, at a wedding. She was delighted to show me the detailed work on her clothing, and to pose for me. She even sang the traditional San Diu music called “Soong Co.”
The young people at the wedding invited me to stay and assist at the ceremony. I found the San Diu to be warm-hearted and welcoming people.