Cao Bang UNESCO global geoaprk- Land of ethnic cultural identity

Wednesday - 27/11/2019 09:48
Cao Bang UNESCO global geoaprk- Land of ethnic cultural identity
In addition to the appeal by the wonderful natural beauty, spectacular mountain scenery and many historical sites and the diverse cultural features imbued with the identity of ethnic groups, there are significant intangible cultural values, making this land an exceptionally attractive tourist destination. Every ethnic group in Cao Bang has its own characteristics of costume, culture, and festival.

In Cao Bang, the number of Dao ethnic group people divided into two groups: Dao Tien (Coin Dao) and Dao Do (Red Dao) is about 51.124 people which accounts for about 10,1% of the total population. They live in Nguyen Binh, Bao Lac, Bao Lqam, and Thach An districts, however most of them live in Nguyen Binh district, part of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp, especially 100% population in Thai Hoc commune are Re Dao group and 100% population in Hoa Tham are Dao Tien (Coin Dao). Clothing, color, and patterns on their clothes are the some basic features that helps to tell the differences of these two groups of Dao people. The name Dao Tien (Coin Dao) originates from the silver coins that attached to their clothes while the name Red Dao comes from their two main colors of their clothes with their two red stripes attached to the shirt of female Red Dao. The patterns on the clothes of Dao people are really diverse and unique which illustrates their relationship with nature such as trees, leaves, grass, or animals,etc.

The Dao people live mostly in lower mountainous areas. They do farming on both flat fields and hillsides. The Dao ethnic group has various types of clothes, which have distinctive features. The Red Dao women wear splendid garments made of black material embroidered with red cloth pieces. The 8-si kerchief (Ca pha) is wound around their head, looking like a flat hat. Their sides are covered with cloth bands (pha xi) decorated with a number of embroidered motifs in red threads. Their belts (xi lo chin) are embroidered with sophisticated motifs. Their shirts have long taps and hemmed sleeves. They open on the breasts to reveal the light-coloured bras with two strings of eight tassels (nom lang gau) each inside. Their large-legged trousers (hau tao) are decorated with green, red, brown or white squares. On their backs, there are material squares (nom kie) skillfully embroidered.

Red Dao women’s garments

Unlike the Red Dao people’s garments, the Coin Dao people use 2 main colors of indigo and black to decorate their garments. These are two harmonious and gentle colors, creating different and special clothes when they are combined with the patterns on the fabric.

The Coin Dao people wear shirts without collars. They usually have 4 parts with separated chest and two 30cm-long sides, 5 buttons in which 1 is big and 4 others are smaller. The edge of the shirts is embroidered with colored threads. The back is embroidered with white, blue and pink threads, with patterns in the middle. The white cloth that female Coin Dao usually wear on their head called “Xi Mien” demonstrate the love for their hometown. According to the legend, one time the Coin Dao heard that in the far distance, there is still area of land for farming (normally the Coin Dao live in the mountainous area with limited cultivation land) and their parents have just passed away, they immediate bury them in a hurry and set off their trip to that area. On the day they leave they still wear the white cloth one their head (usually worn when their relatives pass away) and on the occasion of white-cloth-taking off, they can go back home because they have to take care of their family and their children. Since then, they usually wear the white cloth on their head to demonstrate their love of their hometown. Two sides at the front are embroidered with white threads, and the sleeves are also embroidered with white, blue and pink threads.

Coin Dao people's shirts are always embroidered with the patterns of lozenge, spider and flower (at the two rears on the back), especially a carefully- embroidered dog, This is also the specific characteristic of the garments. The dog pattern on their cloth is associated with a story related to a god dog. Once up the time, Binh Hoang or King Binh was supported by a god dog that came to stand on the yard of the King. Because of its beautiful appearance, the King kept and took good care of the dog. One time when his country was at threat, the King Cao who ruled the neighboring country mobilized his arm forces to attack King Binh. In that situation, King Binh met with Generals of the kingdom to discuss about solution fight back the attack, however most of their fight-backs failed. The King promised if someone could defeat King Cao he would let him get married to his daughter. Suddenly the dog came to ask for his departure to fight back the attack and the King approved the request of the dog. The dog passed the ocean and reached the place where King Cao was living; while he was drunk the dog went in and bit his head (beheaded), and brought the head of King Cao to the King Binh. As his promise, the King let the dog get married to his daughter, and the King abdicated. The dog turned into a man taking over the throne and ruled the country with the name “Ban Vuong”

Dao Tien identical costums of femal Dao Tien.

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