Dak Me Village – A place to preserve the traditional culture of the Brau ethnic group

About 15km from Plei Kan town, Ngoc Hoi district, Dak Me village, Bo Y commune, Ngoc Hoi district. This is a village that still retains the most pristine features of the Brau ethnic culture. Currently, Dak Me village has about 92 households, 398 people of the Brau ethnic group, with a total area of ​​5 hectares located in the west of Plei Kan town, Ngoc Hoi district.

The Brau ethnic people here mainly burn forests for farming to grow rice, corn, and cassava, with rudimentary production tools such as axes, machetes, and sticks to poke holes in seeds, resulting in low crop productivity. Besides, in their free time, they often weave fabric to earn extra income. Young men and women of Brau are free to get married. The groom’s family holds an event asking the wife to pay gifts to the bride’s family, but the wedding must take place at the bride’s house, and the bridegroom must stay at the wife’s house for about 2 to 3 years before holding a ceremony to bring his wife back to his house permanently. .

Nha%20rong%20meMother’s communal house of the Brau ethnic group

They like to play gongs and traditional musical instruments. There are different types of gongs. In particular, there is a tha gong set (only two pieces), but in the past it could be worth from 30 to 50 buffaloes, but had to go all the way to Attapeu (Laos) to get it. Tha gongs, including wife gongs and husband gongs, are a spiritual symbol and supreme authority in community life through festive activities.

Tha gongs are often played on occasions of welcoming guests, celebrating a new communal house, new rice, during festivals… According to the thinking of the Brau people, the Tha Gong is not only a musical instrument but also a god. The Brau people believe that the Tha Gong is their ancestor. Therefore, in the Brau language, there is no word to beat Chieng Tha, but to call Tha poi (invite Tha to speak). To invite Tha to speak, we must first hold a ceremony to invite Tha to eat and invite Tha to drink. Therefore, the gong set is placed in an important position not only during performance but also when stored.

Young women often play Krong put, a musical instrument consisting of 5-7 unevenly long and short bamboo tubes joined together, creating sound by clapping their hands together outside the mouth of the tube. When lulling children or at weddings… the Brau people have appropriate folk songs. Kite flying, stilt walking, and gambling are also fun activities for teenagers.

Nha%20rong%20conChildren’s communal house of the Brau ethnic group

The Brau people’s houses have very recognizable features, rarely seen in the houses of other ethnic groups. First of all, the Brau people pay great attention to beautifying the house. This is shown in the “governor’s head horns”. In just one small village I saw four different types. Running along the roof, people also built a decorative strip that not only beautifies the house but is also very unique. The house’s frame with simple trusses and inclined walls follows the “summer and autumn” style. Arrangement on living space: enter the house from the gable. The ladder goes up to an empty gable before entering the house. The layout of the floor of this space is also very special. The floor is divided into three parts with different slopes. The house is divided vertically in half, half on the left, one part is for the girls, the other part is where the boys live during the day because they sleep in the communal house at night. The other half is for the kitchen.

The elderly and middle-aged people in Dak Me village all have their ears pierced and wear all kinds of jewelry made of bamboo, silver, bronze, ivory, all kinds of things. They already have their ears pierced when they are only one or two years old. , the older you get, the bigger your earrings get. The ear hole is gradually widened by threading holes called peppers. Well-off families in the past often replaced Lo O pepper with Bloc pepper, made from a small, smooth piece of ivory. Brau women also wear many silver bracelets and anklets. If they don’t have silver, they can replace it with aluminum or copper bracelets.

Men wear loincloths naked. At the age of 14, 15, 16 years old, they have to have their four upper front teeth removed, and often have their faces and bodies tattooed.

Women often keep their hair long or cut it short. Before, I was naked and wore a skirt. It is an open dress that wraps around the body. The skirt body is artistically treated at the top and bottom of the skirt with different colored fabric patches with simple horizontal black stripes running across the skirt body. In the cold season, they wear pullovers, sleeveless, and low-cut shirts. This is a short, straight shirt with an overall nearly square shape. The front and back of the shirt are artistically processed according to the same principles as the skirt. The entire front is light in color with a bold border on the hem and hem; The back of the shirt is treated in a light color with simple horizontal stripes on the bottom half of the shirt.

Currently, the villagers still maintain their outstanding and unique traditional culture including: the remaining Tha Gongs and Gon Gongs that are still preserved and maintained to exploit this unique culture, the communal house architecture is styled in the style of the communal house. 1 mother’s communal house and 2 child’s communal houses. Coming to Dak Me village, in addition to admiring the wild beauty of the village, visitors can also admire the graceful dance of the Brau boys and girls wearing brocade costumes woven by themselves. .

Article, photo: West Africa

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