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tuesday 08 august 2017

Hoa the curer

Hoa the curer

Hoa is born in Tuan Dao village, in the North East of Vietnam. The village is located near a big forest, know everywhere for its biodiversity. Hoa have 7 sisters and 3 brthers, and they belong to Dao ethnic group. Her mother and her grandmother are curers and as a woman, Hoa inherited all their skills and knowledge.

Curers doesn’t earn enough money to live, they are often payed with gifts, that where offered to ancestors to thank them. “Curers never became rich, they never earned money from their work. Nowadays things are different: people pay the curer for the herbs they use”.

Hoa never went to school, she spent a lot of time in the forest with her mother and her grandmother. She learnt how to recognise good plants from the poisonous, how to collect them and how to transform them. The harder work is to prepare herbs: she have to cut leaves and roots in small and regular pieces, a work that can take a whole night. Since she was a little girl she learnt how to cut bark, leaves and bud and how to use and combine them to cure people.

Once married, Hoa wasn’t interested in continuing his life as curer and she dedicated herself in caring his children, working in her husband’s rice fields and breed chickens. When her third child born, she contracted a breast cancer. It was 1999 and the nearest hospital was specialized in western medicines, so she started taking chemicals medicines. But his pain was never been relief so his mother call her, and ask her to come back home and let her try with herbs. Finally she get better and she understood that being a curer was her future.

Nowadays one per month she travel in Quang Ninh, the nearest town to sell her herbs and to give advice to his patients. She has been contacted even from Hanoi. Every day, with her husband, she go to the forest and collect herbs and roots and she is teaching this wonderful art to her daughters, that maybe a day will became curators.