The Vet People, Chin State, Myanmar

Residing along the banks of the north-western Laymyo River in Chin State, Myanmar, the Vet are a sub-group of the people known as Chin. As with all the Chin groups, they have their own history and culture that has some links to the tribes nearby. As with many of the groups in the area, the Vet also tattooed their young women in the past.

The Vet have a tattoo that is almost indistinguishable from their neighbours, the Ng’hang. The Vet tattoo has small flower-like shapes on the temples that is said to represent the strength of their people. Small variations on the tattoo can be found based on clan, village of origin, and the wealth of a girl’s family. Tattooing of the legs was also common among women in the past.

While nowadays the Vet mostly wear western-style clothing brought in by charitable groups from other parts of Asia, many still own traditional clothing they use for festivals and celebrations. However, with the availability of traditional weaving from the Ng’hang people, more and more Vet are also seen wearing the more colourful clothing of their neighbours. Originally, their clothing was pure black in colour.

In the past, the Vet were an animist people who believed they descended from one of their spirits who had birthed their people. Sacrifices and ceremonies were common for celebrations, good harvest, wealth, and any other auspicious occasions. Now, however, much of the population has converted to Christianity in lieu of their traditional beliefs.

The Last Woman to Receive the Vet Tattoo

Tattoo Artist's Hands - Vet

The Last Vet Tattoo Artist

A Vet Man and Woman Tell Their Story

The Common Vet Flower

Vet Traditional Clothing

Vet Children