Textiles, as clothing, are perhaps the most personal of possessions. In tribal societies, their importance is magnified many times, especially for women. It is a means of expression and of communication.
• They proclaim an individual’s identity: tribe, clan, hometown, gender, age, marital status, social status, wealth.
In many tribal groups in Viet Nam, these traditions have changed little in a century (as documented by comparing photographs taken a century apart) and in most cases many centuries. Wearing traditional dress is both an honor and a responsibility-every woman, every day, all day. It is more than pageantry; it is history, and it is Identity.