The Thai have a population of more than 1,000,000 inhabitants living in the provinces of Lai Chau, Son La, Hoa Binh and Nghe An. The Thai have other names such as Tay, Tay Dam, Tay Khao, Tay Muoi, Tay Thanh, Hang Tong and Pu Thay. Thai language belongs to the Tay-Thai Group.
The Thai are experienced in consolidating edges, digging canals and building frames to fix'gutters to convey water to the fields. Wet rice is their staple food, especially sticky rice. The Thai also cultivate rice, secondary crops and other trees on burnt-over land. Each family breeds cattle and poultry, wattles bamboo articles, weaves cloths and some families have developed ceramicware-making occupation.
Thai brocade is very well-known with unique, colourful and durable motifs.
In recent decades, Thai men have adopted the Kinh's style of dress, while Thai women retain their traditional clothes including short vests, long black skirts, scarves and ornaments. The Thai live in houses on stilts. A Thai village, called a ban, comprises on average 40-50 houses built side by side. Among the Black Thai, the roof is shaped like a tortoise carapace with decoration called khau cut at each of the ridge.
Matrilocate is the rule in the Thai society. After the wedding, Thai man comes to live with his wife family in several years, untill the couple have child they come to live in the husband's house.
The Thai's concepts of death is that they will continue their life in other world. Thus they organize funerals in a way like a farewell party to see off the dead persons to the uppermost world.
The Thai group comprisqs many family lineages. Each lineage retains its own tabooes, for exam ple the Lo never eats Tang Lo bird; the Quang abstains from killing tigers. The Thai people worship their ancestois, heaven, earth, ban and muong (several ban form a muong). Every year they also hold rituals to pray for good crops, starting by a ritual to greet the first thunder of the year.
The Thai possess a valuable legacy of myths, legends, ancient tales, stories in verses and folksongs. The well-known epics include the Xong chu xon xao (farewell to his lover), the Khu Lu Nang Ua (Lu and Ua). The Thai knew how to in wrte a time immemorial, so have kept on tissue paper and leaves many vetiges of ancient lterature, customs and practices and folkloric genres. The Thai like to sing, in particular recite khap with the accompaniment of string instruments and dance. Their folk dances such as Xoe and Sap (bamboo dance) are performed On the stages both at home and a broad. Han Khuong and Con throwing are also of Thai's unique cultural characters.