The Red Dao
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The Red Dao

The Children of God

The Children of God

The origins of the Red Dao are still a mystery. They are part of the Yao ethnic group from China and share many similarities with the H’mong people. They cohabit Sa Pa in northern Vietnam with different ethnic groups, some of which are part of the same while others differ entirely. Because of historical, social, and economic reasons, they all moved to the north of the country, protected by the mountains and provided by an abundance of water and rich soil. This area is inhabited by the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay, and Giay.
Snapshot

Snapshot

  • Region is Southern Asia

  • Climate here is Tropical

  • The challenge here is Intense

  • This trip has been rated 5 by other travelers

Life

Life

Red Dao people live off agricultural farming, for which they are known to be very able. Wet rice, dry rice, crops, fruit trees, cassava, sweet potatoes, corn are their speciality, and they also breed cattle and poultry. They usually sell their products in local markets,
an essential income factor of any household.
Home

Home

Houses vary from group to group in design characteristics. Red Dao performs a ritual to select the land on which they will make their houses. Houses are rectangular and are built using wood and bamboo.

Culture

Social Structure

Red Dao people have a very close relationship with their ancestors. Lineage is also very complex; they have different family names and even middle names to distinguish different generations. Men rule a Red Dao house, have an essential role during marriages, funerals, and inaugurations of new homes.

Religion

The official Dao religion has elements of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. They worship the ancestors and the holy man Ban Vuong, considered the earliest ancestor of the tribe.

Traditions

When a Red Dao baby is born, the family hangs green tree branches or banana flowers at the front door of the house to scare evil spirits, and then after three days, the mother is celebrated with rituals.

Language

Red Dao people speak H’mong – Dao language. Giay people speak Tay – Thai language.

Art

The populations in Sa Pa are well known for their embroideries and beautiful traditional clothes; however, western-style clothes are evident as well.

Red Dao women's costume is a long blouse over trousers, embroidered colourful patterns, but their most distinctive fashion piece is red triangular turban decorated with silver coins and red tassel.

Both men and women place a square piece of fabric on the back of their shirts to represent that they are children of God.

Celebrations

Apart from religious celebrations, one of the most important festivals for the Red Dao is the New Year, which is celebrated for an entire month.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

Sa Pa in northern Vietnam is full of different ethnic groups, some of which are part of the same, while others differ entirely. Because of historical, social, and economic reasons, they all moved to the north of the country, protected by the mountains and provided by an abundance of water and fertile soil. This area is inhabited by the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay and Giay, which you will visit all in our experience. They all coexist in this area which they inhabited for hundreds of years.

While in Sa Pa, you will be able to see the breathtaking mountains, slopes, and valleys of its territory. The scenery perfectly shows the relationship between the ethnic groups living in the area and nature, especially the rice terraces depict their perfect coexistence with the environment.





Photo credit Terraced rice field in Vietnam
iStock.com/NanoStockk

Photo credit Red Dao women
iStock.com/R.M. Nunes

Photo credit Red Dao women
iStock.com/hadynyah

Photo credit Red Dao women in traditional dress
iStock.com/vinhdav

Photo credit Sa Pa Vietnam
iStock.com/OscarEspinosa

Photo credit Red Dao house
iStock.com/samvaltenbergs