Name of Ethnic Group: Ngai (Ngai
Hac Ca, Lau Man, He, Sin, Dan, and Le).
Population: 1,154 people.
Locality: Quang Ninh,
Ha Bac, Lang Son, Cao Bang, and Bac Thai Provinces, and Ho Chi Minh
Customs and Habits: A typical
Ngai house consists of three rooms. Young women do not receive their
inheritance after their parents die. Young Ngai people must obey their
parents wishes. Marriage is comprised of two steps: a wedding and a
nuptial rite. The Ngai have great respect for their ancestors, as well
as souls and spirits. All families have ancestor altars, and all hamlets
have temples and pagodas built to honour the dead.
Culture: The Ngai language belongs
to the Han group.The Ngai maintain a love duet called the "Suong
Co" that exemplifies their rich cultural heritage. Other forms
of entertainment include a lion dance, a stick dance and a follow-the-leader
Costumes: The Ngai
wear garments similar to the Hoa (or Han).
Economy: The Ngai
live mainly on rice cultivation and fishing. They have a very elaborate
system of water irrigation as a result of digging canals, building dams
and water reservoirs, and reinforcing sea dykes. They are also good
at mat-making, bamboo screen making, blacksmithing, carpentry, and lime,
tile and brick-baking.
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