Dao Thanh Phan- Treasure of Quang Ninh's Ethnic Minority Group

Experience the impressive traditional culture of the ethnic Dao Thanh Phan people in Binh Lieu, Quang Ninh through a series of photographs by Hai Le Cao.
January 11, 2022 | 00:19

Photographer Hai Le Cao shared that while many people visit Binh Lieu because of the rice terrace, flowers and grass fields on the border landmarks, he is attracted by the region's people and the impressive culture of the ethnic minorities, like the Dao Thanh Phan people who have lived in this land for many years.

Binh Lieu mountainous district with undulating hills, about 100 km from the center of Ha Long city, Quang Ninh. This is a place to challenge visitors to explore mountain roads, the famous "dinosaur spines" and border landmarks.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

Binh Lieu has over 96% of the population are ethnic minorities such as Tay, Dao, San Chi, Kinh, Hoa...

The Dao Thanh Phan live mainly in 2 villages, Song Mooc A, Sông Mooc B, Phat Chi, Khe Tien.

In his photo series "Traditional beauty of the Dao Thanh Phan people", Hai Le Cao, a passionate nature photographer shared useful traveling tips for a winter trip to Binh Lieu. He said that for the convenience of traveling, tourists can visit Ha Long Bay, Quan Lan or Co To islands, then go to Binh Lieu.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

In his visit in November 2021, Hai Le Cao captured the rare farming season in Binh Lieu.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

In October-November, the terraced fields are ripe and golden along the border road at Song Mooc, Dong Van commune, about 30 km from the center of Binh Lieu town. People here support and help each other to harvest, on the day of the harvest, they reap from one field to another, sometimes working in the hot afternoon and the numbing cold night.

Due to the mountainous terrain, many agricultural areas can only cultivate rice season at the end of the year, and the local government organizes the golden crop. This time of the year Binh Lieu attract tourists more than usual.

After the full moon of December (lunar calendar), the Dao Thanh Phan people celebrate their traditional New Year. According to tradition, the shaman chooses an auspicious day and then the whole family celebrates Tet at the ancestral house of each Dao clan.

The houses of the Dao Thanh Phan people are earthen houses with yin and yang tile roofs. The common point is to build a high place, away from the wind, near the fields and water sources for convenience in daily life. Summer weather is burning hot, but when visitors enter the house, they will instantly feel cool.

The charming smiles of Dao Thanh Phan women

Photo: VnExpress
According to Dao Thanh Phan's traditions, married women often have to shave their hair, eyebrows, and and dyed their teeth with gold. Photo: VnExpress

Dao Thanh Phan women in traditional clothes, often wear a red box, wrap their heads with a patterned scarf and tie a string at the chin, showing their grace. Married women often have to shave their hair, eyebrows, and and dyed their teeth with gold.

Photo: VnExpress
Embroidery has long been associated with the life of the Dao Thanh Phan people. Photo: VnExpress

Embroidery has long been associated with the life of the Dao Thanh Phan people, no matter the age. Almost everyone knows how to embroider.

Before getting married, the Dao girls embroidered their wedding dresses by hand and also made clothes for their mother-in-law as a present.

Also, they believe wearing colorful clothes will help keep them safe and not getting attacked by wild animals from the mountainous areas.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

Bright costumes and friendly smiles enhance the unique beauty of Dao Thanh Phan women. Floral motifs on the head scarf, on the hem of the shirt, and on the hem of the pants are inspired by many images reflecting cultural life such as the harrow, cowpea flower in the fields, ginseng flowers or terraced fields.

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