Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags

Hmong Leng Sam Neua

Hi, everyone! I have an epiphanous realization that I have prepared too many outfits for Hmong New Year. Some outfits are a part of my Hmong Outfit Series and others are part of my creative outlet. As I type this post, I see that my fabric purchases don’t seem to be twindling. There’s a lot of outfits on my list and I’m trying to finish them during my break because I won’t be able to sew for a while. Today, I’m sharing an outfit that I made inspired by the Hmong Leng Sam Neua. It’s not completely traditional but contains most of the pieces of Hmong Leng from this region. 

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:: Hmong Leng Sam Neua ::

This group lives in Northeastern Laos near the Vietnam border in the province Sam Neua. They wear their hair in large hair buns like the Hmong Leng Dien Bien/ Lai Chau in Vietnam. I like the detail on the front of the shirt. The applique doesn’t run straight on both sides but zigzags on one side and the zig zag faces differently than the Hmong Leng of Thailand. It’s typically folded over, but I sewed mine flat on the front of the shirt. I opted to do this because I think it looks cleaner and I like it lying flat and flush against the shirt.

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The shirt has black cuffs instead of the dark blue cuff like the Hmong Leng of Xieng Khouang, and Hmoob Moos Pheeb. Typically the sleeve is a full length sleeve. I did the appliqué of the shirt by hand and that was a very tedious process. My appliqué skills are also quite basic so it doesn’t look very pretty up close. Usually, in the very middle of the appliqué row  there is embroidery or appliqué triangles. I chose to embroider stars.

The video I linked below shows a Hmong girl getting dressed in the Hmong Leng Sam Neua style.

 

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Like the various Hmong Leng groups of Laos their dab tsho is sewn face down. Instead of tying their sash, they wrap it around the waist multiple times. 

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:: Skirt ::

The skirt that I’m wearing is not exactly authentic. It’s the closest skirt that I had in my collection to the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt. Hmong Leng Sam Neua wear skirts with rows of red appliqué in between the spaces of the batik design. Straight lines, zig zags, and criss crossing lines are appliquéd on the middle of the skirt.

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Pictured below is an authentic skirt. My skirt lacks the red appliqué rectangles on the bottom of the skirt or the taw tiab/ taab tab. The bottom of the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt consists of cross stitch embroidery- usually yellow, orange, red, and white and appliqué. In-between the embroidery space is left to appliqué red rectangles.

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Maybe when I wear this outfit next year, I’ll take the time to put my hair up in a large hair bun.

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Traditionally, this outfit pairs with leg wraps or nrhoob. Long triangles of hemp fabric dyed indigo are wrapped around the legs. Inwards for the living and outwards for the dead. I added some red ribbon on the top for decoration.

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:: Outfit Details ::

Hmoob Leng Sam Neua Outfit

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (38 X 18)

Leg Wrap / Nrhoob

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:: Photography ::

Uncle Sai Photography

Thank you for reading! Merced New Year is here and I can’t wait for the grand finale of Fresno Hmong New year. It took me a while to decide which outfits to wear for Fresno Hmong New Year, but I’m proud to say I’m ready and no longer questioning my decisions. I can’t wait to share with you all my outfits for this year. If you want to see the outfits I wore last year click here. Next week, I’ll showcase my sequin princess hat!

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