Urbanist Hanoi

BackHeritage » Vietnam » [Illustrations] Everyday Life in 1923 Northern Vietnam Through 10 Rare Sketches

[Illustrations] Everyday Life in 1923 Northern Vietnam Through 10 Rare Sketches

It was a simpler time in Vietnam 100 years ago — just people going about their life without a single phone in sight.

This set of rare sketches takes us to the villages of northern Vietnam in 1923, filled with craftsmanship, camaraderie and just some good ol’ fashioned loincloths. The illustrations were archived by BnF digital library Gallica, which aims to preserve French written heritage. They depict the everyday life of past Tonkinese — residents of what is now northern Vietnam. Details regarding the identity of the artist were unavailable, but the works still retain much of their original brushworks and sketches after almost a century.

Have a close look below:

Patrons having a meal at a street eatery.



A farmer guiding his water buffalo to plow the field.

Opium smokers.

Filling the paddy field with water.



A barber cleaning a client's earwax.

Milling rice.

[Photo via Flickr user manhhai]

Related Articles

in Vietnam

A Meandering Photographic History of the Red River and Long Bien Bridge

Upon its completion in 1902, Hanoi’s Long Bien Bridge was the second-longest of its kind in the world — it was only a few hundred meters shorter than Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. 

in Vietnam

A Rare Look Inside the Hue Imperial Court in 1895 in Watercolor

'La cour de Hue' (The court of Hue) is a series of painting done by Nguyen Van Nhan in 1895, during the reign of Thanh Thai, emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty at the time.

in Vietnam

An Ancestral History of Northern Vietnam’s Railway Construction

We often see archival images of old Hanoi, but these photos are different - they are personal. The following shots, which come from a collection of five photo albums, are the only surviving record of ...

in Vietnam

New Proposals Suggest Repairing or Replacing Nam Dinh Cathedral With Replica

Back in May, a renovation plan to replace Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province with a newly built replica angered the public.

in Vietnam

Thong Nhat to Stop Producing Iconic Matchbox Brand Starting Next Year

Founded in 1956, Thong Nhat was one of the first factories built in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

in Vietnam

[Maps] A Brief Cartographic History of Hai Phong From 1898 to 1968

Known today by the moniker "City of Red Flamboyant Trees," Hai Phong has always been one of Vietnam’s most prominent port cities ever since its establishment in 1888.

Partner Content