Name of Ethnic Group: La Chi (Cu
Te, Tho Den and La Qua).
Population: About 8,000 persons.
Locality: Xin Man District in Ha Giang
Province, and Muong Khuong and Bac Ha Districts in Lao Cai Province.
Customs and Habits: The typical
La Chi house is built on stilts, has three apartments, and an
ancestral altar in the largest apartment. Each household has its own
drums and gongs which are used in ritual ceremonies conducted by the
head of the family lineage. Children take the family name of their fathers.
As part of the wedding presents, the groom's family has to offer the
amount of money that was needed to pay for the bride's upbringing. The
7th Lunar Month Festival is the largest and merriest activity of the
La Chi culture.
Culture: The La Chi language belongs
to the Kadai Group. Young boys and girls like to sing "nica"
songs. The traditional musical instruments of this group include drums,
gongs, three-stringed zithers (dan tinh), and lip-organs made from tree
leaves. Popular games played at festivals are con throwing, top spinning,
Costumes: Men wear five-panelled shirts
that fall below their knees (nowadays these shirts are shorter), wide
trousers, and head turbans. The women usually wear a four-panelled dress
with a belt, a bra, and a long turban, along with a pair of trousers
or a skirt.
Economy: The La Chi grow wet rice in
terraced fields. La Chi women have a tradition of weaving and indigo
dyeing. The La Chi live a sedentary life that revolves around villages.