La chi ethnic group
Name of ethnic group: La Chi (Cu Te and La Qua). Population: 10,765 people (Year 1999). Locality: Xin Man District in Ha Giang Province, and Muong Khuong and Bac Ha districts in Lao Cai Province.
Customs and habits
The typical La Chi house is built on stilts has three apartments and an ancestral altar in the largest apartment. Each household has its own drums and gongs which are used in ritual ceremonies conducted by the head of the family lineage. Children take the family name of their fathers. As part of the wedding presents, the groom's family has to offer the amount of money that was needed to pay for the bride's upbringing. The 7th Lunar Month Festival is the largest and merriest activity of the La Chi culture.
The La Chi language belongs to the Kadai Group. Young boys and girls like to sing "nica" songs. The traditional musical instruments of this group include drums, gongs, three-stringed zithers (dan tinh), and lip-organs made from tree leaves. Popular games played at festivals are con throwing, top spinning, and swinging.
Men wear five-panelled shirts that fall below their knees (nowadays these shirts are shorter), wide trousers, and head turbans. The women usually wear a four-panelled dress with a belt, a bra, and a long turban, along with a pair of trousers or a skirt.
The La Chi grow wet rice in terraced fields. La Chi women have a tradition of weaving and indigo dyeing. The La Chi live a sedentary life that revolves around villages.