THE GIAY

The Giay constitute one of the smallest ethnic groups in the country. They immigrated from China but settled in the northern regions of Vietnam around 200 years ago. I met the Giay several times in the last six years in the touristic regions around Sa Pa where their assimilation to the Vietnamese people is already well underway. It’s in 2018 that I went looking for the traditional costume. It took me over 2 hours on the motorbike towards the mountains to finally meet them.

The Giay’s original costume was particularly subdued in its black uniformity, but it is now practically impossible to find. There have been a great many changes in the last forty years, and the colour – particularly blue, highly appreciated – made its way to very modern looking costumes. Previously, these were made by the Giay from pieces of cotton, however their new outfit, that they rarely wear, is now made externally from synthetic fabric. One of the Giay woman told me that her children asked her to burn all the old costumes to make space in the house! Sìn Thị Rúm, 82, kindly put it on for the picture.

 

Population

58617 people (Census 2009)

Location

Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Yen Bai Provinces

Arrival

Migrated from China, 200 years ago
 
THE BO Y
THE NUNG
THE DAO
THE THAI
THE DAO MAN
THE EDE
THE MA
THE CHU RU
THE BRU VAN KIEU
The Stieng