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 Vietnam > Ethnic group in Vietnam  >  Odu  People

The Ơ Đu


According to latest survey findings conducted by the Council of Nationalities of the National Assembly, the O-du now number194 persons mostly inhabiting in the villages of Kim Hoa and Xop Pot (Kim Da commune), and the rest living scatteringly in nearby villages, Tuong Duong district, Nghe An province. The O-du are also called Tay-hat. Their language belongs to the Mon-Khmer Group and now is used no more.

They live on farming in slash-and-burn plots with rice as their staple food, and maize and cassava as auxiliary food. Gathering and hunting still play an important role in their economic life. Cow breeding is insignificant and destined for draught power. Poultry and pigs are raised to serve rituals and worshipping and improve daily meals especially when there are guests. Wickerwork and of late weaving are sideline family occupations. Formerly, the O-du had no family names. They then adopted the family names of the Lao or Thai.





They live in small-size families. After marriage, the bridegroom comes to live at his wife's house for some time before returning to his house with the children and their mother. For the O-du, the new year begins on the day when the thunder rolls for the first time in early spring. They believe thai people have the soul which, after death, becomes the soul of the house, watching over every activity of the living in the family.

Today, the O-du still retain self-consciousness about their ethnicity, but their language has almost vanished (only a few people know their mother tongue). They skillfully use the Thai and Kho-mu language. Their cultural identity is obscured by the influence of the Thai and the Kho-mu. In the national population census in 1989, many O-du declared themselves as the Thai or the Kho-mu.