Name of ethnic group: Dao (“Dao Quan Trang” (Dao with white trousers), “Dao Quan Chet” (Dao with tight trousers), “Dao Tien” (Dao with coins), “Dao Thanh Y” (Dao with blue dress), “Dao Do” (Red Dao), Man, Dong, Trai, Xa, Diu Mien, Lim Mien, Lu Giang, Lan Ten, Dai Ban, Tieu Ban, Col Ngang, Col Mua and Son Dau).
Population: 620,538 people (Year 1999).
Locality: The Dao live along the Sino-Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Lao borders and in some midland provinces and provinces along the coastline of northern Vietnam.
Customs and habits
The Dao worship their ancestors called Ban Ho. Two forms of matrilocals exist, a temporary matrilocal and permanent matrilocal. Their funerals reflect many ancient customs. In some regions, dead people from 12 years old and older are cremated. The houses are built either on stilts, level with the ground, or half on stilts and half on beaten earth.
Dao language belongs to the Mong-Dao Group. The Dao have long used Chinese writings (but pronounced in the Dao way) called Nom Dao (Dao Demotic Script).
The attire of the Dao men consists of trousers and short vests. Women’s attire is more diversified and is often decorated with many traditional motifs.
The Dao mainly live off of rice cultivation and by growing subsidiary crops. Sideline occupations include weaving, carpentering, blacksmithing, papermaking and vegetable oil production.