Name of Ethnic Group: Tay (Tho,
Ngan, Phen, Thu Lao, and Pa Di).
Population: About 1,200,000
Locality: The Tay
live along the valleys and the lower slopes of the mountains in Cao
Bang, Lang Son, Bac Thai, and Quang Ninh Provinces, and in some regions
of Ha Bac Province.
Customs and Habits: Ancestor
worship is a religious rite of the Tay. The altar for the ancestors
are placed in a central location in the house. The altar room is such
a sacred place that guests are not allowed to sit on the bed in front
of the altar. After giving birth, women are also not allowed to
sit on the bed in front of the altar.
Tay villages are always built at the foot of a mountain and is
often named after a mountain, field, or river. Each village contains
about 15-20 households.
Culture: The Tay language belongs
to Tay-Thai Group. There is a rich traditional folklore with all kinds
of poems, songs, dances, and music. Tay songs include the "Hat
Luon" (a kind of duet between lovers), wedding songs, and lullabies.
Costumes: Tay women
wear knee-length dresses, which are split at the right side with five
buttons along the armpit, and a narrow sleeves.
Economy: The Tay have developed agricultural
practices quite well and are able to cultivate all kinds of plants including
rice, maize, and sweet potato.