THE PHU LA

A Phù Lá village is usually made up of around 10 – 15 households and the chief and the elders play a very significant role in managing the affairs of the tribe. When I visited this group in a village near Bắc Hà in the north of the country in 2015, I found it to be a challenging undertaking in more ways than one. The road there was treacherous and at some times pretty daunting. Also, Phù Lá people appeared to be a bit distant in their demeanour so it was hard to make a connection.

I tried to find out more about their traditional costumes but soon discovered that sadly, it’s no longer made there. While meandering around the village I encountered a curious and friendly mother and daughter who were happy to pose for me. This little girl’s smile is so cheeky and yet so wise. I love the intense blue colour and intricate embroidery detail of the hat which can be seen in the glass cabinet of artifacts. Incidentally : I met a sub group of Phù Lá since in the region of Sa Pa, the Xa Pho, whose costume is totally different… to be continued !

 

Population

5535 people (Census 2009)

Location

Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Ha Giang...

Arrival

From China in the 15th and 18th Century
 
THE CAO LAN
THE MUONG
THE PA THEN
THE HMONG
THE THAI
THE MA
THE CHU RU
THE CHAM
THE HRE
THE XO DANG