06 Dec 2018 ♦

The unique culture of the Lo Lo Hill Tribe Minority on Dong Van Plateau

August 5 2017, 9 Comments

The Lo Lo mainly reside in Ha Giang and Cao Bang province (northern Vietnam). Although they are a small population and live among other ethnic groups, the Lo Lo have maintained their own traditions and customs.


The Lo Lo live in the houses leaning against the cliffs, overlooking the valley or fields. Like many other ethnic groups living on Dong Van plateau, the Lo Lo people build stilt houses or earthen-wall houses surrounded by a stone wall. Houses must have 3 compartments: a room in the middle with two compartments on either side. The right compartment is the residence of grandparents, parents. The middle room is the meeting room and for wedding, funeral. The compartment on the left is for the son, daughter-in-law or son-in-law. The attic is for guests to stay and to store corn, cassava.


The Lo Lo live harmoniously in close proximity with other ethnic groups while still preserving their traditional values. Young men and women are free to know each other before ending up with their own marriage.

When the couple decides to get married, the groom’s family must need the help of four people, including two couples which are known as matchmakers. They believe that if these matchmakers are two couples, their life will be luckier and happier.

The Lo Lo often give the offerings to the younger brother of the bride’s mother instead of bringing them to the bride’s parents. The Lo Lo highly appreciate his role, because he is in charge of approving the marriage and dividing property.


The Lo Lo often celebrate many interesting festivals each year, like their picking corn festival in Lunar New year, or praying for rain festival. If there is no rain until March, they will celebrate a rain worship festival. All villagers contribute offerings and participate in the festival. Sometimes, the Lo Lo and other groups co-organize a rain worship festival so the whole region will have rain.


Men often wear black pants and shirts that extend to their knees, are cut in the two sides, and have the button on the right arm. On the head, they often muffle a towel.

As for the Black Lo Lo, they often wear shirts decorated with square patterns and embroidered with colorful images of birds and flowers. The large sleeves are made of pieces of varicolored cloth.

The Flower Lo Lo wears round-neck shirts. Sleeves are made up of different colors. Unlike the Black Lo Lo, the Flower Lo Lo wear decorative pants.


Since ancient times, the Lo Lo have had their own letters often written on animal skin and wood. Additionally, the Lo Lo also has a rich folk culture, expressed through dances, folk songs, and fairy tales.

Fairy tales express the vividly ethnic perception of natural and social phenomena together with songs, life, and nature. Until now, all of them are still preserved and make a contribution to the treasure of folk literature of Vietnam.