The Red Dao of Tả Phìn
Photo essay of a hill-tribe family and the surrounding area on the Chinese border in Tả Phìn, Vietnam. The life of the Red Dao revolves around the rice harvest and planting, and that means two periods a year of intense activity. The rest of the year is more relaxed and is spent farming and tending to the livestock.
This Tả Phìn village has more than 700 Red Dao people as well as Black Hmong and Blue Hmong. It is unusual that several hill tribes live together in the same community but Tả Phìn seems to defy the odds by living harmoniously away from the government and strict ordered systems of the modern world.
The Red Dao people originated from China and migrated to Vietnam starting around the 12th or 13th century and continuing until the early 20th century. The majority migrated into Vietnam during the Minh dynasty, due to drought, failed crops and the pressures of Feudalism in China. The Dao consider themselves to be the descendants of Ban Vuong or Ban Ho, a legendary character of the Dao people.