Vietnam 100 years ago: Annamite ladies pantaloons and black teeth

0

Upon market days, the crowd is very great and the spectacle a curious one, and long lines of women go by carrying their goods in baskets suspended to the two ends of a bamboo which rests on the shoulders.

They wear turbans, and most of them are attired in long smocks, while others wear pantaloons, which, it is said, Minh-Mang ordered to be worn in order to check the licentiousness which prevailed.

This edict was so untimely that it led to a bloody revolt. Jealous of their rights and their mode of dress, the Annamite women have very distinct characteristices, and it is only with them that one sees the indolent carriage which they affect, with their thighs outstretched and their haunches moving as in the dance.

This natural attitude, due in the main to their conformation, is perhaps one of the most marked characteristics of the race of the Giao-Chi, which is quite distinct from the Chinese.

They have good busts, and the face would often be pleasing if they could hide the mouth; but the new-comer is horrified to see their thick, swollen and split lips open and display a cavity with black teeth, often very decayed, and what looks like bloody saliva.

Still more surprised is he when this cavity opens to let drop into the mouth of two or three children some half-masticated rice. Yet there is nothing but what is natural in all this. The black is due to the habit of
lacquering the teeth and the red to the chewing of the betel-nut, while as to masticating the children’s food in advance, I have heard the doctors say that it is a very good plan.

After a few months’ time, one grows accustomed to anything, and as these Annamite ladies put up with our white teeth — dog’s teeth, as they call them — I hope they will excuse my remarks.

Read more:
Vietnam 100 years ago: Halong impressions of Prince Henri d’Orléans
Vietnam 100 years ago: Hoan Kiem legend as it was told in 1890s
Vietnam 100 years ago: Annamite ladies pantaloons and black teeth

Text: Prince Henri d’Orléans (1867-1901)
Around Tonkin and Siam
Publication date: 1894
Publisher: London, Chapman & Hall
Photo: old photo from internet

×××××

VIETNAM 100 YEARS AGO
Vietnam 100 years ago: table manners
Vietnam 100 years ago: chewing the betel-nut
Vietnam 100 years ago: how to become a mandarin
Vietnam 100 years ago: religion and superstitions
Vietnam 100 years ago: worshiping ancestors

Vietnam 100 years ago: practice of polygamy
Vietnam 100 years ago: chief wives of the mandarins
Vietnam 100 years ago: numerous wives of the Emperor
Vietnam 100 years ago: emperor and aristocracy

×××××

APEC 2017
The 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Danang – Article by Vladimir Putin
APEC 2017: President Trump at APEC CEO Summit in Vietnam
APEC 2017: Vladimir Putin met with President of Vietnam
APEC 2017: President of Russia met with Prime Minister of Japan
Vietnam: meeting APEC Business Advisory Council

×××××

DOING BUSINESS:
Japan: briefly about Doing Business 2017
Korea: briefly about Doing Business 2017
Malaysia: briefly about Doing Business 2017
Singapore: briefly about Doing Business 2017
Thailand: briefly about Doing Business 2017
Vietnam: briefly about Doing Business 2017