Viori could not exist without the Red Yao. The amazing women of the Red Yao tribe graciously taught us about their traditions. They showed us that extraordinary results could be achieved using natural ingredients that don't harm us or our environment.
Our experience was so inspiring that we created Viori to share the Red Yao's hair care rituals with the world. And by providing high-quality products made with nutrient-rich Longsheng rice, we're able to help the Red Yao people preserve their unique culture.
The Red Yao Are Unique
Hair is a central part of the Red Yao's culture, once considered so sacred that it could not be seen by men until marriage. If a man happened to see an unmarried woman's hair, he was required to live with the woman's family for three years as their son-in-law.
Although the Red Yao abandoned that tradition in the 1980s, hair still plays a central role in their culture. To this day, long hair is seen as a symbol of fortune and longevity.
And you'd be hard-pressed to find women with longer hair anywhere in the world. In fact, the Red Yao tribe holds the Guinness World Record for the "Longest Hair Village."
A Culture in Danger
We believe that the Red Yao culture is worth preserving, but it is sadly in danger. Although the tribe has lived in the Longsheng mountains for nearly 2,000 years, fewer than 300 Red Yao women remain there today.
The tribe still lives in an area so remote it must be accessed by foot, and economic pressures threaten their way of life. Many children find themselves in the position of needing to leave the village in search of economic opportunity. As a result, traditions that have been handed down for generations may no longer be passed on.
Older tribe members struggle, too, and have turned to tourism in an attempt to make ends meet. It is not enough. Without help, this tribe of beautiful, kind, generous people may cease to exist. We don't want that to happen.
How Viori (and Your Purchase) is Helping
We source the Longsheng rice we use directly from Red Yao families. You can be sure you're receiving an authentic product because we use the same Longsheng rice the Red Yao has used for centuries.
And we don't just buy rice from the Red Yao. We purchase it at a 2X markup over their usual price. We want to ensure our products are sourced responsibly.
Additionally, we donate 5% of our profits directly to projects that help preserve the Longsheng mountains where the Red Yao live, create educational opportunities for their children, and provide care for elderly tribe members.
We believe that the Red Yao culture should survive and thrive for centuries more to come. When you purchase from Viori, you contribute to that mission.Each month, together with you, we'll reach out and find a cause that you are passionate about supporting. We call this our beautiful reason initiative, and we hope it will become your beautiful reason to choose Viori.