Name of Ethnic Group: Tho (Keo,
Mon, Cuoi, Ho, Tay Poong, Dan Lai, and Ly Ha).
Population: More than
Locality: The Tho
live in the western parts of Nghe An Province.
Customs and Habits: Formerly,
the Tho lived in houses built on stilts. Now they prefer houses built
on the ground. Close relationships and a desire to help each other have
existed for a very long time in Tho society. Young Tho boys and girls
have enjoyed considerable freedom through a custom known as "Ngu
Mai". They are allowed to lie together and have heart-to-heart
talks with each other. In the course of these nocturnal parties, each
boy and girl will eventually find their sweetheart. As for marriage,
a boy's family must spend a lot of money in preparation for the celebration
of the wedding. Therefore, a boy must work many days for his future
in-laws. The Tho worship innumerable genies and spirits. They also have
great respect for pioneers who have made contributions to the clearing
of the land and the building of the village, and for the numerous war
heroes. All families also worship their ancestors. Each year, the most
important ceremony called "Going to the Field" is held.
Culture: The Tho language belongs
to the Viet-Muong Group.
Costumes: Tho attire
resembles the farmers dress of the Kinh in the early half of this
century. Tho women buy skirts from the Thai and wear a square white
cloth around their heads which serves as a female head dress. The morning
ribbon is a long white piece of cloth.
Economy: The Tho cultivate rice and
hemp. With rice cultivation, they often use ploughs and harrows to till
the soil. Hemp is grown primarily for producing items for daily use.
The forest provides various kinds of vegetable for Tho daily life.