What a coincidence that 79 years ago, Le Pichon – a Frenchman, wrote a book about Co Tu ethnic group and today we have Rehahn – also a Frenchman, who is trying to preserve the culture of Co Tu people. I have witnessed first-hand how hard this man has worked and how passionate he is about capturing images of the ethnic communities in Vietnam. He once spent two days taking photographs of Co Tu villagers for his museum and even attempted to go see the Co Tu community in Laos, before having a terrible accident on the road. Luckily, he is still with us, and he is just as passionate about continuing his incredibly meaningful project.
When I first met Rehahn, I donated one of our costumes to his museum. Since then, I have seen how the French photographer is helping ethnic communities by trying to preserve a part of their cultural heritage. The Co Tu festival, which was held at his Precious Heritage Museum in Hoi an, gave us an opportunity to showcase our traditional culture and to feel pride and happiness in who we are. Rehahn is a brother to me now and together we are trying to encourage members of the Co Tu community to continue making their traditional costume and are trying to restore our written language