Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group

The Thai ethnic group (also called Tay Dam, Tay Khao, Tay Muoi, Tay Thanh, Dang Dong, Pu Thay, Tho Da Bac) is one of Vietnam ‘s fifty-four ethnic groups, distributed mainly in the provinces of Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Sơn la, Hoa Binh, Yen Bai, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa. The Thai has two local groups: Black Thai ( or Tay Dan ) and White Thai ( Tay Don or Khao). The population of the Thai people is above 1 billion, accounted for nearly 2% of national population.

Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group 1

Beautiful girls of White Thai group

Production activities

Wet rice cultivation plays an important role in the Thai’ productive activities as well as ritual values. Rice is the main food, especially sticky rice. However, the Thai also plant corn, peanut, sesame and other trees… Besides, the Thai raise variety of animals, grow cotton for weaving and make ceramics. The most famous production of Thai people is brocatelle with exclusive patterns and durable colors.


The Thai people live in houses built on stilts. The roofs of Black Thai’s houses are shaped like tortoise carapaces with decorations called “ khau cut” at each ridge.

The living space of the Black Thai was arranged exclusively: each compartment has its own name. The floor was divided into two sections: one section for sleeping, another for kitchen as well as place for guests who are men.

Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group 2

Typical houses of the Thai people



Traditional customes of the Thai men are brocatelle clothes with indigo color. Recently, The Thai men have adopted the style of Viet dress. The Thai women still wear traditional clothes: the bright shirts, accented down the front lines of buttons in the shapes of butterflies spiders or cicadas. The short shirts fit nicely with black skirts. Besides, the Black Thai women wear famous shawls called Pieu with colorful embroidery.

Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group 3

The traditonal costumes of the Thai



After the wedding, the Thai men have to live at his wife’ family for several years until a couple have a child, they are allowed to live in their husband’ house. The married women have their hair done up in a knot ( called Tang Cau in Thai language).

Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group 4

The wedding of Thai people



The Thai still keeps the custom of praying their ancestors. They also worship the gods of land, mountain, water…The Thai have different groups which have their own taboos. For example, Lo group don’t eat Tang Lo bird or Quang group don’t eat tiger…


The Thai people have their own language so the treasure of folklore such as legends, folk, comic poetry…have been stored and transmitted quite integrally. They also like singing and dancing. Some exclusive dances that really attract audiences such as “ Xoe dance, “Paper fan dance” or “ Bamboo dance”  were performed both at home and abroad.

Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group 5

Bamboo dancing



There are a lot of popular games in the Thai community such as con throwing, tug-of-war, horse racing, boat cruising, archery, spinning top…

Some specific features of the Thai ethnic group 6

Con throwing 

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