H’mong people are an important member in the community of ethnic communities in Vietnam with about one million people, ranked 8th among 54 Vietnamese ethnics. H’mong people have unique culture and rich spiritual life, characterized by their costume, cultural activities and especially spiritual culture in their home.
H’mong people often occupy the upland area, from 800-1500 meters above the sea level, mostly in the Northern of Vietnam and is one of major ethnic group in Sapa town, Lao Cai province.H’mong house is really one of the most interesting place for visitors to explore. Thousands of domestic and international tourists has a keen interest in H’mong house because house’s size is change but house’s structure is never change which is always open-ended question. This article will truly respond help you have a deeper insight into the custom and spiritual H’mong house in Sapa Vietnam.
H’mong people live in on the up-hill so climate retains cool throughout the year though the winter may see severe changes, with frost and even snow. Consequently, the reason why H’mong house is roofed by leaves, tiles or land which help to protect them from severe weather conditions and safe enough to avoid the beasts.
H’mong people also consider pillar as the most important part in the architecture of their house. They believe that pillar not only props up the house but also reflects the owner. Pillar has to be a big tree which carried from the forest and it’s very tall, straight and firm. It symbolizes the righteousness, stability, strength of the host. So These pillar always have spiritual significance in H’mong house. All the H’mong house always have to base on one style.
Traditional H’mong house has three compartment, two doors, two windows at least. Among three compartment, the left one is bedroom of spouse, the right compartment is for guests. There are also two stove in a typical house, one is placed in right compartment for guests and another is placed in left compartment to cooking with rice mortar. Ancestors play an essential role in H’mong belief so the altar is solemnly placed in the center compartment where also placed for family meals and guests welcoming.
H’mong people always build an inlaid floor to place their things such as rice and corn after the harvest. These products are put here to avoid getting musty or worm-holes. This floor is also the bedroom for guests. Woman are typically not allowed to sleep upstairs.
H’mong people attach special importance to the land on which they build their houses and consider it a very important affair. To choose the suitable location, house owner puts three corn or rice down the ground and lays bowl or wooden basin face downwards. Then house owner burns three of incense and three sheets of paper to pray the permition of the Earth God. In the next morning or three days later house owner comes back the chosen-location, if three corn of maize are undamaged on the ground, it’s mean they can build their house on there, otherwise they are not permitted and chosen other location.
After choosing the suitalbe place, they start come to groung leveling, foundation making and wall making. Woman are forbidden to enter building ground so are strangers. To make walls, a wooden mold is made which is 1,5 meters long and 0,5 meter wide. Soils that has no tree roots, grass or rocks is filled in the mold. Long wooden boards are used to press on the soils to make the wall stable.
After done making the walls, H’mong people comes to forest to get qualified wood to make a pillar for their house which is spritual values of their house. Immediately pillar cut from the forest, H’mong people make it stands firm on the stone pillar base, not put direct on the substruction. These pillars are carefully selected without being worn-eaten, decayed and headless. The main gate door is only made of finest wood such as apricot or cane. H’mong people think that when a person opens a door gate it’s like he enters the abdomen of another person, so the hinger and latches must be made be woods only. Besides the main gate door, orther door is only opened when there is a death in the family, being an entrance to everyone to move around during the funeral day.
Another characteristic of H’mong architecture is stone fence surrounding their house or two to three other house which has flesh-and-blood relation to form a separate area. Stone fences not be finished up a two-day, people take long to finish them up, They should choose suitable stones, argular and folded together to help spillage. Not only to protect the house from thieves, stone fence also funstions againt the devil according to the customs of the H’mong ethnic people.
Each house has a stone fence and a gate, narrow pathway surrounding, within the fence, behind the gate is the private life of each family. H’mong people often build their houses on the high place, leaning on the mountain, avoid backing to ravine and abyss. Each villages are gathered by a tribe. H’mong people also grow some peach, plum or peer trees around their house. So Sapa has long been known as a mazing place for trekking lovers and adventure tours. Sapa Trekking 1 day is best choice if you want to get full ethnic villages and enjoy Sapa town beauty spots.
Otherwise, Sapa Trekking 2 days will get you the combination of Sapa town, Ta Phin village, Sa Seng and other attractions just 2 days 1 night. Reaching to Ta Phin village, you will have a chance to explore daily life of Red Dzao ethnic, as well as to buy woven and textile brocades made by local people.
Traditional, house-making is a significent part in H’mong people life, house owner organized a hearty housewarming gathered in their new house and best wishes together. In addition, cattle barn is very important part, cattle barn stands angling to main house and its location is chosen depending on the wind direction. Because of the great love of H’mong people for their cattle, sometimes the barn is even better made than the house and taken much effort from the owner. They even give offerings to the barn ghost when the barn is done to ask for fast growing and easiness to raise.
In the plateau, traditional houses of H’mong people hold depth of culture. The living habit of H’mong people in Sapa remains unchanged, their unique customs, traditional H’mong house, has been maintained which impress everyone who once visiting this place and attract thousands of tourists. Sapa Vietnam Homestay Tours that take visitors to ethnic villages, not only have opportunities to take a firsthand look at the architecture art of ethnic minorities but discover the unique customs of the locals, experience to wear colorful clothes, attend to H’mong people festival and stay in the unique architecture house.
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