White Tai (in Thai language and Lao language Tai Khao; in Vietnamese language Tai Dón or Thái Trắng, in Chinese language Dai Duan) is an ethnic group of Laos, Vietnam and China. In Vietnam they are called Tai Dón or Thái Trắng and are included in the group of the Thái people, together with the Thái Đen ("Black Tai"), Thái Đỏ ("Red Tai"), Phu Thai, Tày Thanh and Thái Hàng Tổng. The group of the Thái people is the third largest of the fiftyfour ethnic groups recognized by the Vietnamese government.

Geographic Distribution

There are approximately 280,000 White Tai in Vietnam (2002), 200,000 in Laos (1995) and 10,000 in Yunan province, China (1995).[1]


The White Tai migrated from China to Laos several centuries ago, settling along the Red and Black Rivers.[2][3]


The White Tai speak a language called Tai Khao, also called Tai Dón. It is a Tai–Kadai language.[2]


Men are the heads of White Tai households, although division of labor is nearly equal.[2]


The White Tai believe in multiple personal souls and hold ceremonies to recall those souls to strengthen their character.[2]


  1. ^ a b Tai Dón. Ethnologue.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g The White Tai of Laos
  3. ^ Forbes, Andrew, and Henley, David: Vietnam Past and Present: The North (History and culture of Hanoi and Tonkin). Chiang Mai. Cognoscenti Books, 2012. ASIN: B006DCCM9Q.