THE RO MAM
Meeting the Ro Mam was definitely one of my most intense, yet memorable, experiences over the course of my research. I had been waiting three years for authorization to visit the area that the tribe resides in. Finally, in November 2016, thanks to the efforts of VTV1, a national TV channel, I was able to visit the village located in a restricted area that is 20km from the Cambodian border.
Accompanied by the TV crew, it took us three hours and a half hours in a 4WD to cover the 51 km that separates Mo Rai from the closest town! We can presume that no outsiders had been allowed there since the war. Of the twelve remaining traditional costumes, I was honoured to receive one, along with a pipe and a basket, to showcase their culture. I was invited to lunch with the chief of the village where he presented me with the costume. The woman pictured, posed in it as a token of remembrance. The remaining eleven white costumes are kept as treasures by the Ro Mam in awareness that no one makes them anymore.