Ta oi have a population of over 26,000
inhabitants. The Ta oi are also called Toi
oi, Pa Co, Ba Hy and Ba Ghy. They
concentrate in A Luoi district ofThua Thien-Hue
province and Huong Hoa district of Qua ng
Tri province. Ta oi language belongs to the
Mon-Khmer Group and is close to the Bru-Van
Kieu and Co-tu languages.
In the past, the Ta oi practise
slash-and-burn cultivation. For some time
now the growing of wet rice has been rapidly
developed. They are'good at horticulture and
fish rearing in dug ponds.
Ta oi women wear shirt and skid, even skiff
knotted up to cover their chests. Men wear
loincloths and short vest or leave their
upper torsos naked. Ornaments made from
copper, silver, glass beads and ivory are
also popular. Customs offiling teeth,
stretching earlobes, tattooing the bodies
and wearing hair in shape of a card above
the forehead are nolonger observed.
In the Ta oi village, the communal house
called mng is built in the centre of the
village while in some certain places, there
exist "spirit houses" built on outskirts of
the habitation which are the place to focus
the villagers whenever festivals and public
The ordinary house is
fairly elongated. The interior is divided
into rooms by partitions. Each room reserves
for each small nuclear family. A space floor
reserves for receiving guests and meetings
of the family reunion. These elongated
houses have gradually disappeared.
Each Ta oi lineage has its own name and
certain taboos. Legends are written down to
explain such name and taboos. The children
take the family name of the father. Only the
sons have the right to inhert family estate.
The head ofthe lineage plays an important
role even in village affairs.
Ta oi young men and women are free to choose
their partners in a traditional way of
expressing love called "sim". They arrange
to meet each other in the fields and
exchange "belief objects" with each other,
then the family of the young man relies on a
matchmaker's assistance in proposing
marriage from the family of the young woman.
After the wedding, the bride becomes a
member of her husband's family. Marriage
between decendents of paternal aunt and
maternal uncle is encouraged, but if a man
of A lineage marries a woman of B lineage,
thus marriage between man of B lineage and
women of A lineage is prohibted. He must
choose his wTe of other lineages.
The Ta oi believe in animism and organize
many ceremonies to venerate Giang (genies)
for protection of human beings, crops and
According to custom, several years after
burial, the dead's lineage organize a
ceremony to reinter the dead remains and
build funeral house with sophisticated
decoration and statues around the house's
The Ta oi preserve many proverbs, folksongs,
puzzles and stories retracing their origin
and the struggles between the rich and the
poor, the good and the devil and the
faithful love between tween men and women.
Folksongs comprise Ka-lot, Ba -boih, ro-in
and especially romantic cha chap. Gongs,
string zthers, flutes, trumpets, drums and
pan-pipes are popular musical instruments.