Lo Thi Son, a 70-year-old resident of Ban Hon commune, Tam Duong district, has been teaching young people how to play flutes and gongs and perform the traditional dances and folk songs of the Lu ethnic group for many years.

“While working in the fields, I often write songs and then teach the children how to sing and dance to them. Some of the children have even started writing their own songs. Despite my old age, I am still actively involved in cultural activities. We all enjoy dancing and singing,” said Son.

The daily life of the Lu people revolves around small-scale farming and livestock raising. In their free time, Lu women engage in weaving fabrics and embroidering clothes. Almost every family possesses a loom. Before getting married, Lu girls learn weaving and tailoring, taking care to create clothes for their families.

The clothing of the Lu people, including accessories like scarves and bags, is all handmade and embroidered with traditional patterns. Lu women typically wear indigo shirts with the left flap overlapping the right flap in the front, secured at the waist with colorful tassels. On regular days, they wear indigo skirts with simple embroidery.

On holidays, during festivals, or when the family has special guests, they dress in two-layered dresses adorned with beautiful patterns – the upper part features diamond-shaped motifs, the lower part is a dark indigo color, and the skirt hem is intricately embroidered with various colors.

Last year, Ban Hon commune received 30,000 visitors. Tao Van In, Deputy Secretary of the commune’s Party Committee, said, “We are continuously raising people’s awareness of their responsibility in preserving their traditional culture. We will enhance the preservation and promotion of cultural values to create a conducive environment for economic development, improve people’s livelihoods, and acknowledge the contributions of artisans, elderly villagers, and community leaders.”

Lai Chau province is home to 20 ethnic groups. The Lu people, comprising around 1,300 households and nearly 7,000 individuals, mostly reside in Tam Duong and Sin Ho districts. They have successfully preserved their festivals, stilt houses, weaving techniques, traditional costumes, language, and folk arts. Local authorities have collaborated with the community to restore festivals and rituals.

Tran Manh Hung, Deputy Director of the Lai Chau provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, shared that the festivals of the Lu ethnic group are included in the restoration funding program. There are classes dedicated to teaching young Lu individuals how to make traditional clothes and crafts and speak their native language.

“We have policies in place to support community art troupes and folk culture clubs. The province has compiled a dossier to honor People’s Artisans and Emeritus Artisans, who are masters in teaching and popularizing traditional culture,” added Hung.

The preservation and promotion of Lu culture in Ban Hon has boosted tourism and improved the local standard of living. It has also inspired ethnic communities to actively engage in cultural preservation and replicate successful models, with the ultimate goal of integrating the identity of the Lu people into the larger tapestry of Vietnam’s diverse 54 ethnic groups.