“The scars are from the bombs during the French War” Khi says nonchalantly when he takes off his shirt. His whole upper chest and the exposed part of his legs are full of scars.
Driving back from the Central Highlands of Vietnam delivering photos from our trip in September we stopped at a few villages of the Gie Trieng ethnic group. Khi was sitting in front of his house weaving traditional backpack baskets, but with plastic wire tape. This was the first topic of conversation:
“This basket is made from plastic wires. Long time ago, there were many people that knew how to make the basket, but now there are only old people. I used to make the bamboo basket, but now I am old so I cannot go to find bamboo. The bamboo is in a far forest.”
Khi has many fond memories of hunting in parties from his village when he was younger “I used to go to the forest a lot. I went to hunt wild rats, birds, wild pigs by using the bamboo bow and arrow. It was fun because we always went to the forest in a group of 10 or 20 people. Mostly we wore a loincloth.”
When talking about the time he was younger, Khi refers to it as “The Iron Age”, which I found particularly interesting.
Since traditionally they only wore loincloths and no shirt, this is how I wanted to photograph him. That’s when I saw his upper body covered in scars.
Can you see some of them?
Khi, 87 years old
Gie Trieng Ethnic Group
Central Highlands, Vietnam .
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