Vietnam is home to 54 distinct ethnic groups, 53 of which are considered ethnic minorities. A significant number of these groups have long-standing traditions of brocade weaving—a craft technique that creates raised floral and figurative designs in fabric. However, despite their importance in Indigenous communities, brocade weaving, patterns, and their cultural relevance remain a mystery to most of the country.
With this in mind, Ho Chi Minh-based organization Ethnicity aims to learn, safeguard, and disseminate the value of brocade patterns to a broader audience, especially young people. Founded in 2018, the team is made up of eight members who have garnered the support of numerous volunteers and traveled extensively throughout various provinces in Vietnam over the past five years. To date, they’ve delved into the culture and distinct brocade patterns of 13 different ethnic groups, including the K’ho (Lâm Đồng), Mạ (Đồng Nai), Chăm (Ninh Thuận), Mường (Thanh Hoá), Pà Thẻn (Hà Giang), Cơ Tu (Quảng Nam), Bana, Gia Rai, Giẻ Triêng, Rơ Măm, Hrê, Xơ Đăng, and Brâu (Kontum) peoples.