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Name of Ethnic Group: Tay (Tho, Ngan, Phen, Thu Lao, and Pa Di).

Population: About 1,200,000 people.

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.


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