Red Dao Sa Pa Vietnam
Therina Groenewald: Red Dao Sa Pa Vietnam – Professional photographer
Vietnam with officially 54 ethnic minority groups is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the World.
Red Dao tribe, pronounced Red Yao or Red Zao, is the second largest ethnic minority in Sapa district. They are also called ‘Jungle People‘.
Their unique belief system holds elements of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Furthermore, Dao people worship their great ancestor Ban Vuong as their Holy Man.
For an illustration of their peculiar customs, when selecting a place for a family house, they dig a hole and fill it with rice. The rice represents family members and all their possessions. If the rice is still in the bowl the next morning, they build the house at the same place.
Red Dao society in Vietnam is a patriarchal with dominant men roll in the family. Red Dao women shave their heads and eyebrows. They wear a distinctive red triangular shaped turban, decorated with silver coins and red tassels. A square piece on there clothing symbolizes they are children of God.
They practice and are experts in the field of herbal medicine. They use many treatments especially medicinal baths and know which plants from the forest to use to treat many illnesses.
Tourism is fast having an effect on the financial situations of these people. It is now possible to book homestay visits with them. It is a fascinating way to engage with these friendly people. To see them genuinely in their real habitat is a very fulfilling thing to do. Vietnam is rightly proud of its ethnic minority people. Taking the opportunity to engage with them will provide you with an unforgettable experience.