Red Dao culture origin


Red Dao group and its close relationship with Hmong people

Scientific reports show that both Red Dao and Mong groups belong to the Hmong-Dao language group and both migrated from China before gradually separating in Vietnam. That’s the reason why these two ethnic groups have different cultures while they share their living environment. There’s a village in Sapa that shelters both these 2 groups. Let’s take a look.

Dao people in Sapa

Red Dao origin in sapa

Red Dao ethnic is the second largest group in Sapa, just only after H’Mong group. Their origin is from Yunnan Province, China but this hill tribe migrated to Vietnam starting from 13th century and they live mainly in Ta Phin, Thanh Kim, Suoi Thau, Trung Chai communes.

Red Dao people choose valley or mountain slope to grow maize, rice and cardamom. Traders come to Red Dao houses to buy agricultural products and then sell them for Chinese so the life of the Red Dao people improved quickly.

Colorful costumes of Red Dao women

The Red Dao often wear red hats, indigo long blouse over trousers with many red and white decorations at the collar, lap. The costume of the Red Dao is considered as the most beautiful costume in any Sapa market. Red Dao women also have a custom of shaving eyebrows and the upper part of the forehead to make them more beautiful. Red Dao people also have their own script based on ancient Chinese language word called “Nom” but only the elderly people can read, understand and write.

Dao people have a belief that dogs are their ancestors so they always respect dogs. In addition, they also have many special traditions such as if any family cook wine, this family has to put a leaf in front of house, to prevent strangers from coming into the house because they think that if a stranger come in, the wine will be burnt.

And in a family, if a woman gives birth, they also put a leaf in front of house, to prevent strangers because they are afraid that the new born child will cry a lot. Boys and girls should not take picture together before marriage.

Wedding of Red Dao people in Ta Phin village

Anually, they organize many special festivals on the first month of lunar year such as Fire dancing festival on the first and second day of the first month of lunar year, singing contest in Ta Phin, a small village of the Red Dao and H’Mong people, 12km from Sapa town.

This village is famous for unique style of brocades made by skillful hand of H’mong and Red Dao women.