August 23, 2015

1846 FRANCE (French Guiana) - Hmong young girls from Cacao

Even if French Guiana has only 250,000 inhabitants, its ethnic diversity is outstanding. The main Asian communities are the Chinese and Hmong people from Laos. The Hmong are an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of  China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. In Laos, many Hmong fought against the invading North Vietnamese Army and the Communist Pathet Lao in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War. Following Communist victory in 1975, many Hmong were killed or were send in labor camps, so those who could, fled to Thailand or resettled in Western countries, including French Guiana.

This small minority from French Guiana is today mainly concentrated around two villages, Cacao and Javouhey, with a bit less than a thousand individuals in the former and just over a thousand in the latter. Although they make up only about 1% of the population of French Guiana, they now control 70% of the country's agriculture. The first group of 45 Hmong arrived in French Guiana in 1977, being transferred to a new plot of land in the Amazonian jungle, on the Comté river to the south of Cayenne, where they set Cacao.

The emphasis on tradition is readily apparent in these villages. Older Hmong men are dressed in the traditional style, with baggy black pants and long sleeved black shirts. Women wear Lao style sarongs in town, though long pants and rubber boots are necessary in the fields to protect against bites from fire ants and poisonous snakes. Younger Hmong men usually wear Western style clothing, but on special
occasions (weddings, political events, and the New Year), traditional Hmong clothing is worn.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber), was issued in 2011.

Hmong People - Wikipedia
Hmong customs and culture - Wikipedia
Hmong's new lives in Caribbean, by Bethan Jinkinson - BBC News website
Hmong, Clothing and Dress -

Sender: Mine Chu
Sent from Cayenne (French Guiana), on 15.11.2014

No comments:

Post a Comment