Giay ethnic group
Name of ethnic group: Giay (Nhang, Dang, Pau Thin, Pu Na, Cui Chu and Xa).
Population: 49,098 people (Year 1999).
Concentrated in Bat Xat, Bao Thang and Muong Khuong districts (Lao Cai
Province); Yen Minh and Dong Van districts (Ha Giang Province); Phong
Tho and Muong Te districts (Lai Chau Province); and Cao Bang Province.
Customs and habits|
Giay worship not only their ancestors but also the genies of the
heaven, the earth, and the kitchen, including the Goddess of Childbirth.
The Giay villages are very crowded, containing hundreds of households.
Houses are built on stilts or on level ground. The central bay of the
house serves as a place for receiving guests and for the ancestor altar.
customs rule Giay families. The children take on the family name of
their father. The family of a young man usually seeks a marriage for
their son. During pregnancy, Giay women must obey certain taboos and a
special altar is set up for the delivery.
language belongs to the Tay-Thai Group. The cultural heritage of the
Giay is rich including many ancient tales, poems, proverbs, puzzles, and
wear trousers, short vests and wind a turban around their heads. Women
wear a five-paneled vest open at the side, which buttons under the right
armpit, and trousers. They wear their hair wound around their head or
wind it in a turban.
Giay practice rice cultivation in submerged fields and rear animals to
provides for additional income. The Giay also rear plenty of horses as
pack animals and for transport.