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Traditional costumes of Dao women in Trung Minh

TQO - The unique feature in traditional costumes of Dao Tien and Dao Cooc Mun sub-groups in Trung Minh Commune, Yen Son District contributes to their diverse and rich culture.

Trung Minh Commune, Yen Son District is a place where many Dao ethnic groups reside. Of those, the Dao Tien and the Dao Cooc Mun sub-groups have 175 households. The Dao Tien people concentrate in Vang Nguoc Hamlet while the Dao Cooc Mun people mostly live in Minh Loi Hamlet. Each Dao sub-group has its own cultural features that are clearly shown through their costumes.

In general, Dao women's costume includes blouse, trousers, belt, headwear, indigo fabric leggings, which are lavishly embroidered with motifs and patterns.

Dao Tien’s traditional costume

A set of costumes includes of Dao Tien women includes blouse, skirt, scarf, leggings and jewelry (silver rings and earrings). The Dao Tien women are the only sub-group in the Dao ethnic minority people wearing skirts which contrasts with the remaining groups wearing tunic, bib with long pants or knee-length shorts.

Leggings of Dao Tien people are decorated according to the rules. The outer borders are black and white, followed by alternating coloured lines and beautiful pattern strips in the middle of them.

Silver is the highlight of the costume of the Dao Tien. Silver is used to make buttons, earrings, necklaces, silver coins hanging on the back of the blouse. Therefore, Dao Tien women's outfit is more shimmering under the indigo fabric colour.

It takes 2 years to complete a traditional costume of the Dao Tien.

Dao Cooc Mun’s traditional costume

Like Dao Tien people, Dao Cooc Mun women also embroider their own costumes. In their culture, grandmothers and mothers will pass on the traditional craft of embroidery to their descendants.

The patterns embroidered on indigo fabric are inspired by nature and daily life such as flowers, leaves, trees, grass, birds, etc.

All Dao sub-groups in each locality embroider different patterns on the chest. A special feature of the Cooc Mun costume is the pattern of sun flowers.

The women of the Dao Cooc Mun use a large green and red belt, wear a bib inside and a blouse outside. The headgear used in daily life is small, with a rim in the front of it, decorated with beaded strings as accents while headwear in the important ceremony are more colourful and stitched by layers of fabric.

The Dao Cooc Mun people wear traditional costumes on special occasions such as 'cap sac' ritual, wedding, ancestor worshiping ceremony.

Although the life is more modern, the Dao people in the highland areas of Trung Minh are still preserving their culture identities so that the next generation understand the roots and cherish each custom.

Hoang Lam

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