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 Vietnam > Ethnic group in Vietnam  > The Cotu People

The Cơ-tu


The Co-tu have nearly 37,000 people inhabiting in Hien and Giang districts of Quang Nam-Da Nang province and A Luoi and Phu Loc districts of Thua Thien-Hue. Their other names are Gao, Ha, Phuong and Ca-tang. Co-tu language belongs to the Mon-Khmer Group. The Co-tu believe in Giang (Genie) and worship Giang.

Living in the Truong Son range, the Co-tu practice slash-and-burn cultivation and dig holes to put seeds in. Apart from rice, they practice animal husbandry, cloth weaving and basketry. Food gathering, hunting and fishing are also very common. The exchange of products is carried out by barter.

In the Co-tu village, the houses are set out in the form of an ellipse. In the middle of the village is the rong (communal house), a large and beautiful building which towers over all the other dwellings. This house is the place for reception of guests, to hold meetings, rituals and cultural performances. It is also here that the elders spend most of their time recounting their memories.

Co-tu attire is simple. Men wear loincloths and leave their upper torsos naked. Women wear skirts and short vests. In winter they wear a piece of cloth.


The popular ornaments comprise necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The traditional customs such as tattooing face and body, filing teeth and men wearing their hair long tied in a chignon have gradually declined.