Indigenous women from the Red Dao hill tribe sitting on a rock near Sa Pa (Vietnam)
This hill tribe is also called Red Dzao or Red Yao.
The Dao (pronounced Zao) are the 9th largest ethnic group in Vietnam with a population of just under 500,000. They belong to the Hmong Dao language group and are believed to have started migrating from China in the 13th century. The women wear some of the most colorful and diverse costumes of all ethnic groups but can be identified by their black trousers richly embroidered with flower or small star patterns. Their jackets can be red or black usually with embroidered borders. The ensemble is topped by a black or red turban together with chunky silver jewelry. In addition most Dao women shave off their eyebrows and foreheads as this is traditionally regarded as a sign of beauty.
For more info about the Red Dao people, go to globalwanderings.co.uk/ethnic_minorities/dao.shtml.