Made with love, to keep our precious babies close to our hearts, Hmong baby carriers are as much art as they are another set of arms. We place our babies in baby carriers to rock them to sleep, with the steady movement of our steps, and the steady rhythm of of our heartbeat. We use them to keep our babies safe when there is no one else around to keep an eye out for danger. We use them when there is a sink full of dishes, and dinner needs to be made, but our babies want no one but us.
Like Hmong attire, there are many variations of baby carriers. A typical baby carrier consists of a batik center ranging in color from black and grays to variations of blue. Oftentimes the batik center includes an appliqued pattern in pink or red. Borders of applique in fabrics that consist of a pattern of bright colors such as red, pink, green, black, and white surround the batik center.
I made my first baby carrier, when I was just a kid. My big sister and I each made one. My mom said it was for our future children. It is definitely not my finest work, but one of the nearest and dearest to my heart. I have carried all my babies in this very same baby carrier – it holds much sentimental value. To this day I still use that very same baby carrier that was made 19 years ago.
Special thanks to Houa Vang Photography for the beautiful photograph.