When I visited the Pu Peo in 2015, it took me a whole day to find this village, which is situated very near to the Chinese border. After only 25 minutes in the village, the authorities told me to leave in no uncertain terms! I was so disappointed but managed to capture the striking image you see here of an 83-year-old woman, the oldest person in the village. She was also wearing a pair of ethnic shoes, which she’d had for over 65 years! She explained that she only wore them on special occasions. This was the first time I’d ever seen ethnic shoes.
The main colors of the Pu Peo’s costumes are red and blue. It is believed that red represents the woman’s respect for the man and blue symbolizes and honors the woman. They sew these colorful pieces onto their dresses instead of embroidering and weaving it like other groups. I feel lucky to have captured this shot, given the little time I had.
687 (Census 2009) – 4th Smallest
Ha Giang, northeast region
Shrouded in mystery. Cultural history handed down in oral folklore by the elders