Dao Ethnic Group


The Dao are one of Vietnam’s largest and most colorful ethnic groups who predominantly live in the northwestern provinces along the border with China and Laos. Female outfits vary but typically feature elaborate weaving and silver-colored beads and coins (the wealth of a woman is said to be in the weight of coins she carries). Long locks of hair are tied up into a large red or embroidered turban.  The Dao practice ancestor worship of spirits known as ‘Ban Ho’, and hold elaborate rituals with sacrifices of pigs and chickens. The Dao’s close proximity to China explains the common use of traditional medicine and the similarity of the Nom Dao Script to Chinese characters.