Nung Ethnic Group
The Nung People are one of the 54 ethnic groups officially recognized by the government Vietnam. The Vietnam National Department of Statistics considers an ethnic group (dan toc) to be, “a stable or relatively stable group of people formed over a historical period with common territorial ties, economic activities, and cultural characteristics.
Name of ethnic group: Nung (Xuong, Giang, Nung An, Nung Coi, Phan Sinh, Nung Chao, Nung Inh, Qui Rin, Nung Din, and Khen Lai)
Population: 856,412 people (Year 1999)
Locality: Lang Son, Cao Bang, Bac Thai, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Tuyen Quang provinces.
Customs and habits: The Nung mainly worship their ancestors, spirits, saints, Confucius, and Kwan Yin. Nung villages are often built on hillsides. There is usually a submerged field in front of the house and a garden in the back. The Nung houses are always built on stilts.
Culture: The Nung language resembles the Tay, and belongs to the Tay-Thai Group. The Nung have a written language called Nom Nung (Nung scripts) which has prevailed since the 17th century. The Nung have an abundant wealth of folk arts and cultural activities including folksongs and alternative songs ("sli"). The smooth melodies of the "sli" are harmonious with the natural sounds of the forests and mountains. This type of folksong is a combination of verse and music.
The "Lung Tung" (Going to the Fields) Ceremony is very well known and attracts many people of all ages. This ceremony is always organized on the first month of the lunar year.
Costumes: The Nung mainly wear indigo attire.
Economy: The Nung live on rice and corn. They also grow cash crops and fruit trees, such as tangerines and persimmons, and anise.