How did the Banar interact with the gods?

The Banar people have long lived in Kon Tum and belong to four main local groups: Benam, Golar, Rongao and Gielong. Like other ethnic minorities living in the Truong Son range, the Banar people in Kon Tum have an extremely rich belief system. In particular, belief in gods plays a very important role – it is the foundation of their daily life. The Banar people follow polytheism, meaning they believe in worshiping many gods, such as: the god of creation (Bok Koi Doi, Iă Kon Keh), the god of thunder (Bok Glaih), the goddess (Iă Pom), the god of rice. (Iang Sori), water god (Iang Dak), mountain god (Iang Kong), and some gods of trees and animals… The essential thing is that they believe that gods are real and are wonderful, spiritual beings with power. bring disaster and blessing to people, between gods and people there is a close relationship with each other. That’s why the Banar people conducted a series of rituals, what they called “Communications” to act as a link between gods and humans.

amh%20internetBuffalo stabbing ceremony of the Banar people – Photo: Internet

Praying is the most frequently performed form of communication with the gods. It is a ritual of the Banar people before doing important work. They offer offerings to the gods to ask for their blessings to do the job. ; In particular, this ritual is indispensable for every family before rice sowing day. There are also things where they have not offered offerings to the god, but only promised to the god in their hearts that when everything goes well, they will kill buffaloes, cows, pigs, chickens… to repay the god for helping. Not only do they pray to the gods for help, the Banar people also ask the gods to stand as witnesses for them in times of oaths to each other such as in the case of twinning between father and son, brothers, husband and wife, and even when suing each other. Ask the god to testify… In life, if there is a grudge against someone, the Bannar people often curse to ask the god to harm that person. They believe that if they only pay a curse, the god will help them and do as they wish. sometimes they even use spells to enchant the souls of the people they intend to harm.

Before doing something, people naturally feel happy or sad. Bannar people believe that God will predict success or failure. They thought it was a sign from God, so they followed it and did or did not do it. Acacia divination is also a ritual of the Banar people when they want the god to inform them of good deeds or good deeds. This ritual is often carried out when finding land to build a village, establishing a family, building a house… By performing this ritual, they Use fortune telling or ask for glue, the item is 3 pieces of wormwood with 2 different up and down sides (usually metal coins).

In daily life, the Banar people encounter strange things such as three-legged chickens, chickens that lay soft eggs, crowing hens, pigs scraping troughs… all of which are inauspicious things, whoever has these things in their house must do so. meat immediately to avoid disaster. When you tremble and hear the sound of birds or moose chirping, it is a bad omen; When going shopping, seeing two birds biting each other is a good sign, meeting a pregnant woman or dead animals is a bad omen… The above signs, the Banar people call signs, are used by gods to inform people of what is happening. good or evil. The Banar people also believe that sometimes the god also signals good and bad things while sleeping, that is, dreaming, which they call a form of dream communication. The Banar people believe that whatever they dream about when sleeping corresponds to the gods’ announcement. If they cannot guess it themselves, they must ask a wizard to interpret it to know what to do and what to avoid.

After being helped and blessed by the gods for something to be successful, the Banar people will offer offerings to the gods to show gratitude. This form of communication is called thanksgiving. Every year, for the Banar people, there are thanksgiving ceremonies such as: the ceremony of eating new rice, the ceremony of moving to a new house, the ceremony of eating after being sick and recovering; There are also common thanksgiving ceremonies of the whole village such as offerings after establishing a village, moving a village, building a Rong house, ceremonies to celebrate winning battles… offerings include wine and livers of animals such as buffaloes, cows, goats, pigs, chickens.

The Banar people believe that if a person has a great fate, they will be able to communicate with the gods. This form of communication is called twinning between humans and gods. Gods are sworn to humans in many ways: sworn as father and son, as brothers. Whoever can form alliances with the superior gods will be rich, live long, have good harvests, and defeat enemies… One of the people who is closest to the gods is the sorcerer (Po’jau), a family name. believe that the gods give witches magic spells to cure diseases and predict everything in advance.

One of the forms of communication that shows the Banar people’s absolute belief and obedience to the gods is taboo. The ancient Banar people were absolutely taboo about doing things that they believed were against the will of the gods, such as forcing buffaloes and cows to plow (because cows and buffaloes were sacred objects for people to eat and not do other things), offering them to the gods. dogs to worship the gods, sons and daughters who have not yet become husband and wife but have slept together, daughters who treat wild animals… they believe that if anyone violates the taboo, they will be punished by the gods like thunder, death, sickness, and drought. droughts, floods… and if anyone accidentally does taboo things, they must offer offerings to the gods and apologize to the gods.

Since ancient times, the Banar ethnic group in Kon Tum has lived on the majestic Truong Son range, their lives depend entirely on natural conditions, and the renovation and conquest of nature is still very limited. Faced with that helplessness, forcing them to believe in some invisible force for spiritual help and reliance, from there the names of the gods appeared along with rituals to help people and gods “communicate”. believe” with each other, which in religion is called “interactions with gods”. Today, through the historical process, the social life of Vietnamese ethnic communities is subject to fluctuations and has strong developments. Accordingly, a number of superstitious and outdated customs and beliefs have gradually been eliminated, and of course the Banar society is no exception. However, their traditional forms of belief are still preserved and promoted, contributing to creating unique and diverse cultural features in the cultural space of ethnic minorities in Kon Tum in particular and the West. Nguyen in general.

Minh Hai

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