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Kevin Dyer
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Cover Girl
I made this photograph of a hilltribe (a.k.a. montagnard in Vietnam) girl at the outdoor market in Bac Ha Vietnam. Although only 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Sapa, the trip took over five hours in the old Russian built 4X4 I rented. Getting there was truly half the fun! The remoteness of Bac Ha also makes it a photographer's paradise. Upon arrival at the market, I found no tourists and had the bustling collage of the ten different hilltribes that live, farm and raise livestock in the surrounding hills to myself. As much as it is obviously a place to buy, sell and trade their goods, the market also serves as an important social gathering place to all of the tribes in the region. This young girl, as with all of the women at the market, uses this large social gathering to showcase her most elaborate handmade headdress and silver jewelry. Individuals take great pride in their attire because it reflects not only the tribe the belong to, but also their families social status and wealth. Just as I had framed her gnawing on her favorite market treat, a stalk of sugarcane, she took a break and glanced perfectly into my lens providing me with this image and the knowledge that having a sweet tooth is truly cross-cultural.
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