"Montagnards of Vietnam's Sapa Valley" is a book filled with fascinating portraits and descriptions of the mountain tribes or 'Montagnards' living in the Sapa valley.
The Sapa district is located approximately 350 kilometers northwest of Hanoi and is adjacent to the south Chinese border as part of the Tonkinese Alps which form the most eastern extremity of the Himalayas. The landscape of this area is diverse from terraced rice paddies to breathtaking mountain views and scattered hill tribe villages. In this region, at an altitude of about 1500 meters, the small village of Sapa is surrounded by rolling hills and foggy air where shops and hotels are run to accommodate tourists visiting to meet locals and to hike in the valley. Hill tribe people usually drift into Sapa village to sell their hand-made items especially hand-loomed clothing and embroideries. Even though they form a minority in Vietnam, they are predominant in this valley where they live in communities in relatively primitive conditions preserving strong traditions.
This book has 80 pages, printed on premium paper, and is divided in six chapters that will cover portraits of Montagnards within a specific context. The first three chapters are dedicated to photographs from individuals that can be solely identified by their tribe membership (Red Zao, Black Hmong, and Flower Hmong). These chapters will show some of the unique features of each tribe. The last three chapters will cover these different tribes that share a common context: mothers that carry their babies in traditional carriers, socializing and selling items in Sapa village, and the market in Bac Ha.
Wouter Hoogenboom is a Dutch amateur writer and photographer who currently works and lives in the United States as a neuroscientist in pursue of a combined research and medical career. His Indonesian background and interest in different cultures makes him well connected and drawn to Asian countries some of which he traveled such as Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam.