Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa

Hi, Everyone! Even though, Hmong New Year is barely over I’m already thinking about what I’m wearing. There were a couple of outfits that I had ready but didn’t get to wear. Apparently there weren’t enough days. Also I wasn’t able to go all of days for Fresno New Year. I drove back to the bay on the first and one day I had a photoshoot scheduled. Today, I’m sharing a Hmong outfit from Sapa as part of my Hmong Outfit Series

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:: Black Hmong Sapa ::

Black Hmong of  Sapa live in Lao Cai province of Vietnam and are distinguished by their “black” clothing. The clothing appears black due to the dark indigo dyes that are used. There are quite a bit of groups of Hmong that are referred to as Black Hmong due to their dark clothing or due to their dialect. This group is different from another Black Hmong group in Vietnam in Son La province and Laos in Sam Neua province. 

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:: Indigo ::

Women wear a jacket with embroidered sleeves and a vest on top with an embroidered collar. Fancier jackets have embroidery and applique across the back and shoulders similar to the jackets/shirts that the Hmong Leng Yen Bai wear. The embroidery on their jackets and collars usually consists of dark colors outlined in black. The fabric is made out of hemp that has to be softened before it is woven into fabric. Afterwards the fabric is dyed with indigo giving a very dark appearance. Some jackets look shiny because they are covered with beeswax. 

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:: Shorts ::

This is one of the only Hmong groups that I’ve seen wearing short trousers.  The shorts, jacket, and vest are held together with an embroidered belt with hemp ends. Additionally, Hmong Leng Sapa wrap their legs with nrhoob. Originally they wore a skirt with an apron but eventually transitioned to shorts with the overlapped jacket and vest. I personally love looking at how Hmong clothes change over the years and the fluidity shaped by culture, environment, and access to resources. 

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:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Sapa Jacket / Tsho

Hmong Leng Sapa Vest

Shorts 

Belt

Leg Wraps / Nrhoob 

Traditionally they wear a black head wrap that consist of yards of fabric wrapped several times. Similarly to the Flower Hmong and Hmong Leng Yen Bai they will sometimes wear a brightly colored plaid headscarf. 

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:: Photography ::

Alexandria Castrovillari

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Thank you for reading! I didn’t really make official New Year’s Resolutions this year, but I’m hoping that I can update my blog more regularly. This Hmong Outfit Series is special to me and I have outfits that have yet to be photographed. Also, I’m trying to buy less since I’m running out of room. However, I will probably change my mind since there are various outfits from Vietnam and China that I really want. Stay tuned for my next post! I still have a super over due Lululemon post…

 

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