THE LU

“Why didn’t you come when I was still young and beautiful?” The words of Lò Vân Báu, 93, the village elder, still resonate today, revealing a common thought shared beyond boundaries and cultures. She is nonetheless the kind of beauty that keeps inspiring my project Ageless Beauty. I met the Lu in July 2017 in the Lai Chau area, where they live in one of the best-preserved villages I’ve ever visited. There, the atmosphere is peaceful and joyful, the traditional stilt houses have been kept intact and each household still makes the traditional costume, including the younger women. The Lu’s passion for their own culture is obvious and they’ve developed ecotourism, which I believe, participates positively to its conservation. The cotton costume, dyed in indigo and embellished with bright embroidery, is still worn regularly. The skirt is worn every day and the jacket, which is tight around the hips and flared (both feminine and sophisticated), is only worn occasionally. The distinctive Lu headdress is actually a scarf, always knotted on the left side of the face. These days, it’s reserved only for special events due to the complexity and time required to put it on. As for jewellery, the belief is that the earrings keep them in good health and ensure a long life, so women wear them from an early age and throughout their whole life.

 

Population

5601 people (Census 2009)

Location

Lai Chau

Arrival

From China
 
THE NUNG
THE CAO LAN
THE MANG
THE O DU
THE HA NHI
THE CO TU
THE M’NÔNG
THE TA OI
THE MA
THE CO HO