Red Dao people in Sapa

The Red Dao people have the second largest population after the H’Mong people in Sapa Vietnam. Also originating from Yunnan – China, the Red Dao people are a small part of the Dao ethnic group who migrated to Vietnam from the 13th century to the 40s of the last century. Most of them live in the communes of Ta Phin, Nam Cang, Thanh Kim, Suoi Thau and Trung Chai. According to researchers, the Dao people have a close relationship with the H’mong people. Previously these two groups were thought to have the same origin, but each has a distinct character. During the migration from China to Vietnam, these two ethnic communities have formed different characteristics. Today, when you come to Sapa, you can easily recognize the difference in shape, dress, and way of life, but they still live in the same community.

If the H’Mong people often choose high mountain places to live, the Dao people choose valleys or halfway up the mountains to cultivate corn, rice and cardamom. Merchants often go to their homes to buy and sell to China, so their lives are improved. Many houses have good amenities and facilities such as motorbikes, televisions, even cars, tractors used in agriculture. The Dao ethnic group has many groups, but living in Sapa Vietnam is mainly the Red Dao because women often wear scarves or red hats, blue and black shirts with many red and white patterns on the neck, flap and shirt. Their costumes are considered the most beautiful in each Sapa market. Women also have the custom of shaving their eyebrows and a part of the hair above the forehead to make it beautiful. They also have their own script based on ancient Chinese characters called Nom – Dao, but this type of script can only be read and understood by the elderly.

They also have the custom of abstaining from touching children’s heads. When they cut their hair or shave their heads, they still leave the crown at the top of their heads because they think it’s a place for human souls, the concept that children will not get sick when they cut their hair. They also believe that unmarried men and women cannot take pictures together because it is not good, it can be said that it is a taboo for Dao women. If you want to take a photo, it’s best to ask for their permission first. In the year, the Dao also have special festivals such as Tet dance held on the first and second days of the first month, the love song festival on the tenth day of the first month in Ta Phin village, a small village of the Dao and the H’Mong about 12Km away from in Sapa Vietnam. This village is famous for its brocades of all shapes and colors created by the skillful hands of H’Mong and Dao women, and especially the remedy for bathing in forest leaves of the Red Dao ancestors, which is still handed down to this day, which is very good for tourists traveling long distances.

​To learn more about Sapa Vietnam, please contact with nobletours.net!

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