Views 127 Unique 43
Vote 41
Award Shortlist   


Ko Tu hill tribe

On the road from Hoi An to Kontum in Central Vietnam, near the small town of Dac Giel on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, we stopped in a very small hill tribe village. The hill tribe is the KO TU.

There are 54 ethnic minorities in Northern and Central Vietnam. They are also called the Montagnards (meaning highlanders or mountain people). They scratch a living from farm work, growing their own food and having a few animal and hunting. They live the way their ancestors used to live. Nothing seems to have changed: houses are made of bamboo, the way they always been built. Three generations of family live under the same roof. There is no door except for a simple piece of cloth.
The village is just a few houses/bamboo huts scattered along the road. Inside the hut, they have no furniture as such. The kitchen area is an open fire and the walls are black with smoke. The decorations are the skull of animals which they killed for food ( deers, wild pigs, monkeys …etc..) and amulets (some special plants) above the doorway to prevent evil spirits from coming in.
I was fascinated. The modern world has not changed their way of life. They have strong values and follow the rules passed down from generation to generation.
They were not really interested in me. They were friendly and invited me in and explained to me that the bags of rice hanging from the ceiling was for them to help them for their passage to the “other life”, meaning when they die.
As my Vietnamese friend is a photographer, he asked on my behalf and I was able to take a few photos.
(f8 1/60th sec zoom at 70mm ISO 1600 which explains the graininess of the photos no flash as it would have been inappropriate in the circumstances)

Hoping you enjoyed these photos. Thank you for your past comments and hoping you will once more oblige with your comments.
Have a good day,


Tags: Photo journalism Digitally manipulated Central highlands Portraits and people Central vietnam Ko tu hill tribe Dac giel

Voters: AlanBW, Barbaraj, riprap007 and 38 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

Panasonic 'Nature' Competition - Win A LUMIX FZ1000 II!


Barbaraj 12 450 England
17 Apr 2008 8:32AM
Like the couple photo.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

AlanBW 13 20 England
17 Apr 2008 8:32AM
Amazing character studies enhanced by your fascinating narrative - great stuff Jean Noel
Sahyadri 11 61 2 India
17 Apr 2008 8:49AM
no. 8 for me! this is awesome collection ( as always) from you...
CarolG 12 199 20 Greece
17 Apr 2008 8:58AM
Very sad, but these people know no other life, and are seeminglyhappy as they are. Great images, Jean-Noel. Carol
luxaeternam 12 21 1
17 Apr 2008 9:21AM
Superb shots. If I had to choose a favourite it would be #3, but they're all good.
Smile Lucy
User_Removed 11 78 1 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 9:28AM
Good captures
jaktis 15 84 Sweden
17 Apr 2008 9:38AM
Great and interesting pictures, kind off you to not use the flash

GalleryGirl 11 4 2 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 10:09AM
Super captures. These are fascinating.
Marilyn x
TelStar 14 116 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 11:14AM
A very interesting set of images; especially like numbers 1 & 3.

Rylands 11 1 2 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 12:05PM
Superb images JeanNoel - infact faultless in avery aspect - but #3 realy stands out!
Joline Plus
13 30 53 United States
17 Apr 2008 12:15PM
A fine cultural tour, very tastefully and beautifully done.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 2:16PM
Intriguing, intimate but respectful. V2 & V4 stand out for me.
Bodiewil 11 46 Wales
17 Apr 2008 3:22PM
Another fascinating series Jean-Noel...wonderful captures

DolphinLady 13 54 1 Wales
17 Apr 2008 3:31PM
These are amazing captures of another way of life.
These two look wonderful people.
I have thouroughly enjoyed all of these, even though I may not have commented on every one...sorry for that.
bayleaf 11 8 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 4:07PM
Yet another great set of shots

17 Apr 2008 4:58PM
Excellent images and great information.

nickyv32 12 135 England
17 Apr 2008 5:19PM
Great series, very enlightening, lovely shots.

taggart Plus
14 47 13 United States
17 Apr 2008 5:28PM
You captured some fabulous images on your voyage-- the portraits are excellent and fascinating!

glyndwr 12 66 10 Wales
17 Apr 2008 6:53PM
Great set of images JNC.

GrahamBaines 12 39 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 8:46PM
Agree, super set of photos Jean-Noel.

helenlinda Plus
12 366 22 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2008 9:33PM
v3 is the one I am most drawn to. The natural lighting and angle makes it more of a reflective pose.
Lovely set of pictures. What an experince for you to be invited into their home
danbrann 14 640 17
17 Apr 2008 10:22PM
What a wonderful set of images.
plugin 14 1 Canada
18 Apr 2008 2:02AM
Great images.. 1,2 and 3 are excellent.

Hop-A-Long 12 52 1 England
18 Apr 2008 10:51PM
Excellent set of shots.
microchip 12 1 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2008 4:30PM
Great set again all are excellent captures of a very hard way of life Good narrative
viscostatic 13 43 5 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 7:19PM
A fascinating series of images. Well done.


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.