Hmong Hilltribe People
There are seven recognised hill tribe groups across Southeast Asia: Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Akha, Mien, Padaung, and Hmong. Each hill tribe has its own customs, language, dress and spiritual beliefs. The Hmong Hilltribe people are one of the most populous groups and are found in large numbers in northern Vietnam, northern Laos, and in various provinces of north Thailand. The “H” in Hmong is generally silent, except in Vietnam where the common pronunciation is H’Mong.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of these small villages throughout the hills and thick jungle of the north of Thailand and Vietnam. The people can be incredibly welcoming to travellers, however only a small number of villages are supported by the government, and are accessible to visitors. Their main profession is farming, a way of life that has hardly changed in this challenging environment in a thousand years.
Manufacturing and trading handicrafts is something the Hmong Hill tribe people carry out within their communities on a daily basis. Expanding this practice is something they do willingly as a way to make a livelihood in a country where they are generally not recognised as citizens and are not afforded the same rights to education and employment as the rest of the population.