Hmong: Preserving Identity Through Cultural Heritage
The traditional textile patterns of the Hmong in the commune of Sa Long, Vietnam, have been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage. This recognition will surely contribute to the preservation of the Hmong culture. Being an ethnic community that suffers from intense political persecution, this international recognition of the Hmong identity might help to stabilise their position as a minority.
The article below was published by vietnamplus.vn:
Traditional textiles patterns of Hmong ethnic people in Sa Long commune, Muong Cha district, the northwestern province of Dien Bien, have been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage.
The local Hmong community, known as the Mong Hoa group, uses handicraft textiles’ motifs and patterns to represent their social life, culture, history and aspirations. They believe costume patterns help them communicate with deities to pray.
The patterns in cross, triangle or lozenge shapes, among others, are made by sewing cloths of different colours, by embroidery, or by encaustic painting.
Chang A Lu, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Muong Cha district, said the recognition brought joy to a community that has been working to preserve its cultural identity. He noted it could help promote community-based tourism in the locality.
Dien Bien is now home to six national intangible cultural heritages.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com