Tho ethnic group
Name of ethnic group: Tho (Keo, Mon, Cuoi, Ho, Tay Poong, Dan Lai, and Ly Ha).
Population: 68,394 people (Year 1999).
Locality: The Tho live in the western parts of Nghe An Province.
Customs and habits|
the Tho lived in houses built on stilts. Now they prefer houses built
on the ground. Close relationships and a desire to help each other have
existed for a very long time in Tho society. Young Tho boys and girls
have enjoyed considerable freedom through a custom known as "Ngu Mai".
They are allowed to lie together and have heart-to-heart talks with each
other. In the course of these nocturnal parties, each boy and girl will
eventually find their sweetheart. As for marriage, a boy's family must
spend a lot of money in preparation for the celebration of the wedding.
Therefore, a boy must work many days for his future in-laws. The Tho
worship innumerable genies and spirits. They also have great respect for
pioneers who have made contributions to the clearing of the land and
the building of the village, and for the numerous war heroes. All
families also worship their ancestors. Each year, the most important
ceremony called "Going to the Field" is held.
The Tho language belongs to the Viet-Muong Group.
Tho attire resembles the farmers’ dress of the Kinh in the early half of 20th
century. Tho women buy skirts from the Thai and wear a square white
cloth around their heads which serves as a female head dress. The
morning ribbon is a long white piece of cloth.
Tho cultivate rice and hemp. With rice cultivation, they often use
ploughs and harrows to till the soil. Hemp is grown primarily for
producing items for daily use. The forest provides various kinds of
vegetable for Tho daily life.