Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

Accommodation of Dao Ao Dai people in Ha Giang province


Cơ quan soạn thảo: Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences

Contacting Address: Social Sciences Publishing House, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences

Publication year: 2013

Pages quantity: 270

Dao is an ethnic minority who is in a language group of Hmong - Dao, and has population at 9th out of 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam. According to data from The 2009 Vietnam population and housing census, Dao people include 751,067 population who distribute in all mountainous and midland provinces in the North. Recently, there is a number of Dao people who have moved to live in provinces in the Southern East and the Central Highlands. It can be said that this ethnic minority has big population, many local groups, and settle in scatter way in wide area, therefore beside common characters, each group has their own characters that need to be researched.

After studying published materials and exploring many Dao groups in our country, especially in Ha Giang where Dao people live the most, the author realized that while most Dao people live in tract houses or semi-tract houses and semi-houses in stilts, a part of a group of Dao Ao Dai in Ha Giang live in houses in stilts, and another part live in tract houses with walls made in wood and soil. The author questioned that what is cause of the difference? Is there any differences in customs and habits inside the houses or in relevance to the houses among Dao Ao Dai parts, and between Dao Ao Dai group and other Dao groups?

Thereby, and since his want of contribution to more deeply research on culture of Dao people in general and on characters of each Dao group in particular, contributing to providing new extra materials and identifying cultural characters and values of Dao Ao Dai group on the background of changes in ecological environment and social-economic life, the author conducted the work.

By an approach of anthropology/ethnology, that recognizes accommodation not only as an folklore architectural work but also a “cultural complex of ethnic minority”, with application of theories of cultural ecology, cultural exchange and acculturation... and other methods of anthropology/ethnology, the author not only studied houses from material and technical angles but also examined non-material elements in relevance to houses on the background of residential culture, society and environment of the cultural subject. Besides, the author also analysed, compared and pointed out changes and cause of the changes in residential customs of Dao people.

In addition to parts of beginning and conclusion, the book’s content is presented in 4 chapters. Chapters 1: Generalization of relevant researches and characteristics of Dao Ao Dai people in Ha Giang province. Chapter 2: Material and technical factors for building houses – mention of raw and working materials, ways of exploitation of materials, house building procedure, technical structure. Chapter 3: Factors of society, customs and habits in relevance to houses – living level, social relations expressing in living level in houses, relevant customs happening in houses, ect. Chapter 4: Changes in houses – changes in material and technical factors for building houses; in factors of society, customs and habits in relevance to houses; cause of the changes and preservation of traditional cultural value of houses, ect.

The author’s research result shows that Dao Ao Dai people’s houses were previously semi-tract houses and semi-houses in stilts those were suitable with sloping terrain and the people’s nomadic farming and livings, then by exchange with other ethnic minorities living nearby and by conditions of natural environment and climate in new residential place as well as some other reasons, Dao Ao Dai people in Ha Giang province make tract houses with wall made in wood and soil (in high stone mountains in the North) and houses in stilts (in land mountains) for accommodation as in the present. Beside scientific results that are based on analysis of materials and theories, the author provides theoretical and practical foundation to leaders, administrators for reference in order to solve better economic and social issues in relation to preservation and promotion traditional cultural values of ethnic minorities, in particular Dao people and Dao Ao Dai group, thereby support of more effectively and practically implementing anthropological policies of the Party and the Government on the present context of integration.

The book’s basic content is result of the author’s own thesis on cultural ethnology for his doctor degree, that brought him “The third prize A” awarded by Vietnam Folklore Arts Association in 2013. The book would be useful material for reference to master and doctor candidates in anthropology/ethnology and other people who concern and want to study more about culture of Dao people in general and Dao Ao Dai in particular.

Nguyen Vu

Author :
  • Dr. Pham Minh Phuc