This Blog post has been a bit delayed as the system has been playing but I found
a new way in - I hope it lasts!
On the second day in Sapa we headed off on another trek – this one was shorter
but more uphill and down dale. We are headed down there!
We started off in the markets in Sapa township – these were a produce market where the locals picked up their fresh meat and vegetables each day, a clothes market for modern clothing and the traditional wholesale area where traditional clothing was available. It was fun to see the local ladies buying up before heading out onto the streets to sell their wares.
So I did have to do a bit of shopping here too – but came back after the walk so as not to hold up the others who were not really interested in old textiles - can’t understand that!!!!! So I bought some old pieces from a Red Dzao lady. These are clothing pieces worn around the neck but she wanted me to have them for wallhangings. The red version is the one that we saw more of being sold in the streets and of course they were new.
My Red Dzao lady was very happy to pose for a photo - in fact she added more
interest to her clothing for the occasion.
She was busy at her treadle sewing machine along with lots of others producing
pieces for the market.
We were heading to CatCat which is another Black Hmong Village – but we had no followers this time. On the way we saw buffalo grazing – these are prized in Vietnam as they are
used for working the fields and a good way to make money – they are worth the same as a modern motorbike when sold in the livestock markets.
We saw indigo plants growing on the hillsides – all Black Hmong clothing is indigo dyed.
These bed covers were for sale – they were a mixture of plain indigo fabric, pieced
areas and embroidery panels.
The items that the Black Hmong ladies had in their baskets were mostly small bags.
Some were hand embroidered while others were obviously machine done like the one this young girl is selling us.
The Black Hmong have certainly got their sales techniques fine tuned whereas the Red Dzao people are much more private – they specialise in providing Home Stays in their Villages
for the tourists. We only saw a few of them selling their wares in Sapa Township and they
were a little more hassling with lots of “buy from me, buy from me” and no other conversation. The Hmong ladies have such a friendly approach and make you feel as though they are genuinely interested in you and where you come from! And they engage you for long time chatting and are happy to answer any questions that you have.
That is it from the Northern Hill Tribes.