Wedding ritual of the Pu Peo

(VOVworld) – Living together with 22 other ethnic groups in Ha Giang province, the Pu Peo have maintained their culture, customs, and lifestyle. In this program, Vinh Phong will introduce the Pu Peo’s unique wedding ritual.

Wedding ritual of the Pu Peo  - ảnh 1
Young Pu Peo introduce their traditional costumes at a festival of ethnic groups

Pu Peo youths are free to meet, date, and fall in love with each other. They practice simple, solemn procedures for the marriage proposal and wedding ceremony.

When two lovers want to get married, the young man and his family will ask a matchmaker to go to the young woman’s house to make a proposal. The matchmaker brings with him a red-covered parcel of steamed glutinous rice, a bottle of wine, and cash. Luu San Van, a researcher of ethnic culture in Ha Giang province: “The match maker presents the gifts and extends the marriage proposal to the girl’s family. If the girl’s family agrees, they accept the steamed glutinous rice and cash and drink the wine. If they refuse, they return the gifts.”

The matchmaker informs the young man’s family, who prepare more gifts and a wedding ceremony. The groom’s family and the matchmaker bring two bottles of wine, more steamed glutinous rice, a chicken, and a two-meter red cloth to the bride’s family. Some families give the girl a bracelet and a ring. Mr. Van again: “The groom’s matchmaker puts in a basket 3 packs of steamed sticky rice, a pork rib, two bottles of wine, two chickens, two bowls, a string of beads, and a piece of red cloth. The string of beads must be as long as the bride’s table and the piece of cloth must cover the table completely. The two families will discuss the wedding day and offering.”

Wedding ritual of the Pu Peo  - ảnh 2

After a good date is selected the families of the groom and the bride begin to prepare for the wedding. The bride, the groom, and their families wear their traditional Pu Peo costumes to the wedding. The mother and sisters of the bride often produce clothes for her before the wedding. Trang Thi Mai said: “When my daughter is married, we’ll give her the most beautiful Pu Peo costume to remind other people that she is of Pu Peo ethnicity.”

The delegation of the groom’s family to welcome the bride usually consists of an odd number so that when the bride joins them couples can be formed. The offerings of the groom’s family include 5 baskets of sticky rice topped with pork ribs, 4 bottles of wine, and 2 chickens. All the offerings should be wrapped in red paper. When the delegation arrives, the bride’s family places a small table with wine and tea at the front door.

The two families send representatives for call-and-response singing and invite everyone to drink wine and tea. The wedding ceremony takes place the next day at the bride’s house. The next morning, a friend of the bride carries her on his/her back to the groom’s house. Upon arrival, the groom and his bride ask the ancestors to recognize the bride as a family member. Luu San Van says that when she returns to her house the bride will be treated as a guest: “After the wedding, if the bride’s house is nearby, the groom’s family takes her home for a come-back meal 3 days later, 7 days later if her house is far away. According to the belief of the Pu Peo, back at her former house, the bride should not clean the house, wash the dishes, or go to the attic.”

The Pu Peo have a tradition that if a man from one clan marries a woman from another clan, men from the bride’s clan must never marry women from the groom’s clan. The bride, no matter her ethnicity, must take the groom’s family name to replace hers.   


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