Origins

Tay ethnic group presented in Vietnam early day (from last from first millennium BC).  With more 1.6 millions of population, this is a second largest ethnic group in Vietnam. They inhabit in northern Vietnam such as Cao Bang, Lang Son, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh and some of the regions in Bac Ninh, Bac Giang. Moreover, some of them emigrated to other provinces of Center highlands as Dak Lak, Lam Dong.

A Tay couple

A Tay couple

Local groups include Tho, Ngan, Phen, Thu Lao and Di Pa. The Tay have quite a close relationship with Zhuang in China.

The life of the Tay ethnic people can communicate with each other to acquire influence in terms of culture, religion, and beliefs with other residents in the same residence.

Customs and habits

The Tay always build at the foot of a mountain. They call the name of the villages after a mountain, field, or river where they live. Each village has about 15-20 households, some big villages can contain hundreds of roofs.

House on stilts of Tay people

House on stilts of Tay people

Traditionally, The Tay get married to the person in the same parentage. They often give prominence to male in the family. The marriage of Tay concludes traditional ceremonies.

The Tay have a strong belief in super nature. Worshiping their ancestors is the most inviolable ritual of the Tay. The altars for the ancestors are placed in a central location in the house. The altar room is such a sacred place that guests is not allowed to sit on the bed in front of the altar.

Culture

The Tay language belongs to Tay-Thai Group.

The Tay have developed a rich culture of poems, songs, epics, tales, funny stories, and dance. Popular folk songs of the Tay are call-and-response singing, lullaby, Then, and wedding and funeral singing. Then is sung at events such as worshiping at the ancestral altar, praying for sick people, praying for a couple to have children, at family get-togethers, to welcome guests, and at a “going to the field” festival held in the first month of the new year. Then is an indispensable part of the spiritual and religious life of the Tay.

Instrument “Dan Tinh” is presented in all the cultural and spiritual life of the Tay. It is a soul of the folk songs and folk dance.

Then folk song and Tinh musical instrument of Tay people

Then folk song and Tinh musical instrument of Tay people

Costumes

In spite its large population and wide domicile areas but Tay ethnic group showed a homogeneous community with a clear sense, it reflected the traditional costume with mostly shades of indigo.

A Tay women in the traditional dress

A Tay women in the traditional dress

Costumes of Tay are simply. They wear indigo-blue clothes. Besides the Tay also very famous for weaving workmanship. Their products are not only famous for the quality but also impresses with an ornate imbued with national identity. There is the gift of meaning that visitors often choose to purchase for their friends and relatives when having the opportunity to visit the villages of the Tay.

Economy features

The Tay is a resident of the traditional agricultural farming country. They have known for a long time intensive cultivation and extensive application of measures such as digging irrigation ditches, gutter. In particular, the Tay have praxis with threshing in the field on the wooden trough, which they called “Loong”, then carrying grain home. Besides wet rice, Tay also plants dry rice, crops, fruit trees …  Breeding develops with a variety of cattle and poultry, but the method of grazing is still quite popular. The family craft is attached special. The most famous are the weaving brocade fabric with a variety of beautiful and unique patterns. The Market is an important economic activity.