Red Dao women in Tuyen Quang boast unique costume hinh anh 1Costumes of the Red Dao ethnics in Tuyen Quang province (Photo: Quang Dan/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
The recognition of the art of Red Dao ethnic people’s traditional costume decoration as a national intangible cultural heritage is significant in preserving and promoting traditional cultural values while popularising cultural features of ethnic minority groups.

Tuyen Quang province is now home to around 90,600 Dao ethnic people with nine branches. Red Dao people mainly live in Son Phu, Sinh Long and Nang Kha communes of Na Hang district and Tho Binh commune of Lam Binh district.

For Red Dao people, clothing is one of the first important details to identify and distinguish one ethnic group from another.

Dao people in Tuyen Quang province have nine branches, with each having its own cultural identity, especially costumes. With the sophistication in how to dress, the Red Dao women create their own decoration of clothes, which cannot be confused with that of any other ethnic group.

In Tuyen Quang, the Red Dao often live in some communes of Na Hang, Chiem Hoa, Lam Binh and Ham Yen districts. With the Red Dao women, dressing is very important. The girls at the age of nine and ten were taught by mothers to sew.

The traditional costumes of Red Dao women are divided into daily and ceremonial costumes, in both of them, red is an indispensable colour, symbolising happiness, luck and prosperity.

In their daily lives, Red Dao women wear a blouse, trousers, belt, and headwear. A set of ceremonial costumes includes a tunic, scarf, belt, and trousers, which are lavishly embroidered with motifs and patterns.

The most important part of a Red Dao woman’s outfit is the long-sleeve blouse, which covers over their trousers and is commonly made in black or indigo. The sleeves are decorated with lines of patterns, while the belt is embroidered with motifs such as herbs, tiger’s footprints, flowers, stars and pine trees.

The trousers are primarily decorated in two tubes with horizontal stripes from cuffs to knees.

A strip of red fabric wraps around the women’s hips, which is adorned with two rows of embroidered white jigsaw under red, blue and yellow tassels.

Underneath the tunic, Red Dao women wear a traditional bodice, which is embroidered in red and yellow and decorated with handmade silver flowers.

The men typically wear a short shirt with long trousers, and a head-scarf.

The shirt is the highlight and the most important part of the outfit. The Red Dao often use indigo dyed linen to make clothes. The process of indigo dyeing is quite sophisticated, requiring perseverance and experience.

Dao women often wear only black or indigo dresses. They embroidered the decorative motifs with red thread to tie the neck to the chest of the shirt. In particular, the two ends of the chest brace are studded with colorful beads and fringes. Attached to the dress, the red Dao women wore the undergarments inside.

Red Dao costumes are distinguished for their decorative motifs. Ms. Phan Thi May in Hamlet 5 Thuoc Ha, Tan Thanh commune, Ham Yen district said the Red Dao women have a very unique way of embroidery which is not based on available patterns but their imagination.

The costumes of the Red Dao people in each locality are basically the same, but there are also differences creating a rich and diverse color in the Dao culture. In particular, there are differences in the way of wearing and accessories.

The local authorities in Tuyen Quang province have always paid special attention to the preservation of the cultural values of ethnic groups.

Every year, localities often organize festivals and performances of ethnic costumes to restore and preserve the traditional cultural identities of the ethnic groups./.