Unique features of Xe Dang culture in Tu Mo Rong

Mang Roi is a mountain between Dak To and Tu Mo Rong districts of Kon Tum province, and is the gateway to Tu Mo Rong district. Mang Ro Mountain has a famous pass of the same name that is tens of kilometers long on Provincial Road 676, with some sections almost vertical, so the drivers say the camp turns into a “falling” pass, as unique as any. Heaven’s Gate in Quan Ba, Ha Giang. In the language of the Xe Dang ethnic people, Mang Roi means the mountain peak located on the creek. Standing on the top of the pass, the clouds are floating right below your feet. If you look to the west, you will be able to cover the entire land of Dak To Kan and Dak Ro Ong, with settled Xe Dang villages and interconnected fields. close to the foot of Van Loan slope. Looking north, from Mang Ro to the majestic Ngoc Linh range, you will see a scene no different from the watercolor paintings of Chinese painting, because the overlapping clouds and mountains hug each other for dozens of kilometers. Looming in the clouds covering the Tu Mo Rong valley are low mountains and Xe Dang ethnic villages like faint threads hanging halfway up the mountain, the scenery is very spectacular.

April 17, 2014 1 travelXe Dang ethnic village in Mang Ri – Tu Mo Rong

From Mang Roi to the foot of Ngoc Linh range with a length of about 40 kilometers is the ancient birthplace of the Xe Dang ethnic group originating from the Xo Teng group, located in communes with geographical names: Dak Ha, Tu Mo Rong, Ngoc Lay, Ngoc Yeu, Te Xan and Mang Ri. This is a quite different micro-climate region. Although it is not as good as the Mang Den region (KonPLong), the temperature is 3-4 degrees lower than other regions. Just passing through Mang Roi pass is enough to see a completely different weather. Perhaps that is why this region is endowed with many precious herbs that other regions do not have, such as medicinal herbs: Ngoc Linh ginseng, Red ginseng, Schisandra, Mandrake, Amulet, Cinnamon… . The plants and trees here also have a very unique dark green color. There are two very common types of wild vegetables that grow everywhere, even on both sides of the road and are green all year round, which are pennywort and coriander. Northerners call it Chinese smell), when I suddenly had a meal with my fellow teachers, in just a few minutes there was a basket of hot boiled pennywort, hastily picked on the side of the road.

In this Tu Mo Rong valley, there are still many strange things, which are also the common cultural identity of the original Xe Dang people, but it seems to be a bit more rich, perhaps because the residential culture is located between two mountain ranges – the south. The south is Mang Roi and the north is Ngoc Linh. Also a traditional folk ceremony “Repairing water troughs”, or “worshiping water troughs” called OnDtro KnengTea Ceremony, usually held in March at the end of the dry season every year, Xe Dang people in Dak Ha commune and Dak Ha commune. Tu Mo Rong often has to find the Dui (a type of ground rat called Cuoi) to cut off its blood to worship the Water God. According to custom, the bamboo is an indispensable sacrifice in the water trough making ceremony. Without the bamboo, the water trough making ceremony cannot be carried out. Therefore, the person who catches the rat must have responsibility towards the villagers, in addition to being the most experienced person in hunting. The village elder is the one who clears the water trough. When the first stream of water is cleared to flow into the trough, the village elder cuts off the bloodworm’s blood and blends into the water stream with the meaning: From here, the villagers have a clean and cool water source. The water god blesses the villagers with good health and a prosperous business. According to the concept of the Xe Dang people, the blood of the bamboo rat (Mohea bowed) is the blood of the Water God, it brings strength and good luck to the villagers. Meanwhile, in other areas, Xe Dang people only need to sacrifice chicken, pig or goat! The Dui of the Tu Mo Rong region has now become a favorite specialty in wild meat shops in Kon Tum city.

April 17, 2014 2 tours

It’s also can wine, but in Ngoc Yeu and Ngoc Lay, Xe Dang people here have an “excellent” type of can wine, which is can wine made from millet seeds (Northern people often use it to make sweet soup). Offered during the Lunar New Year, called Ke Ke) and not with cassava like other places. Millet wine is made in small jars. When smoked, it has a golden color like honey. Drinks very smoothly. The aroma is very special and unforgettable. Just drink half a cup and you will feel lightheaded and excited. The village elder in Ko Xia village, Ngoc Lay said that millet seed wine is very nutritious and healthy to drink, “go up to the high fields and keep walking”! During the period 1998 – 2000, when coordinating the work of collecting folk culture of indigenous ethnic groups in Dak To, about Xe Dang folk tales, Mr. A Viem (deceased) was the former Chairman. The People’s Committee of the old Dak To district (including the current Tu Mo Rong district) is of Xe Dang origin, when translating into common language the ancient stories of the Xe Dang people from the words of village elders in Tu Mo Rong, by the Office of Literature. The District Information Department collected and liked the story “Tigers do not eat people from Xe Dang”. This is an ancient story in the Mang Ri, Ngoc Lay, Ngoc Yeu area that talks about an anecdote: The Tiger fell for the trick of the Snail when he had a running race with the Snail along the stream. The Tiger ran out of breath, but wherever he went, there was always a Snail crawling in front of him ( Because the cunning and clever Snail had arranged to play a game with the Tiger, they agreed to crawl up the stream bank, sharing each animal in a section of the stream bank), the Tiger was so angry when he lost that he pounced on the Snail and chewed it greedily, unfortunately the Snail’s shell was lost. The broken piece pierced his teeth, causing him a lot of pain and discomfort. He couldn’t get it out. He ran through the forest and ran into a Xe Dang village where he met a group of women pounding rice. He roared and opened his mouth. To ask someone to help them get the snail shell, the Xe Dang women pounding rice were scared out of their wits, thinking the Tiger would pounce to eat him. A quick-thinking Xe Dang woman immediately took a rice pestle and slammed it into the Tiger’s mouth to chase him away. Unexpectedly, due to that blow, the snail shell from between the Tiger’s teeth was thrown out, making the Tiger feel pain and comfort. The Tiger immediately bowed his head to the Xe Dang women to express his gratitude, then turned and ran into the forest. From then on, Tigers never ate Xe Dang people. According to Mr. A Viem, this is a very good and meaningful fairy tale about the relationship between the Xe Dang people and the animals in the forest, and the forest for the Xe Dang people is all their living space. Surname.

There is tube rice everywhere in Xe Dang villages, but in this area there is a quite special type of tube rice, when you eat it you will forever remember its flavor. Tube rice of the Xe Dang people in Tu Mo Rong has a type that is not unique. It’s white rice like other places, but it’s red rice, a type of upland rice with long stalks, large grains that are very sticky and have a greasy taste. This type of rice is eaten with grilled stream fish, dried rat meat, cooked wild banana stems and cooked young cassava leaves mixed with salt…you really can’t feel full.

April 17, 2014 3 tours

Talking about traditional bamboo folk music of the Xe Dang people, the Dak Sao region is considered the cradle of the famous KlongPut instrument. In this region, there is a very unique type of folk musical instrument, a musical instrument that is not used by human hands, but is made of natural water, which is the water lute. This type of instrument cannot be kept indoors but can be kept outside in the field, a natural choir in the middle of majestic nature. This musical instrument also has a rather unique origin: In the past, long ago, the Xe Dang people often suffered from hunger, because during the planting season, birds and animals often came to destroy the crops. Until one day, a young man accidentally heard the sound of two bamboo pipes colliding in the middle of a small stream, creating a steady sound next to the rice fields. And strangely, the birds and animals no longer came to destroy the area. The boy immediately told the whole village. After that, whenever the planting and pruning season came, every house made two bamboo trees, used the force of water to collide with each other, creating sounds in their fields to chase away birds and animals. Gradually, because the sound was simple and familiar to the ears, it could not escape the eyes of the mischievous monkeys. They continued to come to destroy the crops. The Xe Dang people came up with a way to use many different big, small, short, and long bamboo pipes to form rafts and floors, and also used the force of water to make the bamboo pipes collide on their own. together to create many different sounds. This time, no matter how cunning the monkeys were, they did not dare to come close because they thought that there must be a human there controlling them, so birds and animals did not dare to come, and the crops were good again. From then on, in far away fields and near fields, everywhere a bamboo pipe frame was built like the bamboo pipe frame that that young man made to repel birds and animals from destroying crops. Later, people gradually improved and became the herd of water-draining silk as it is today. A wonderful creation of Xe Dang people with open souls, rich thinking and rich and profound folk arts. The Department of Culture and Information of Dak To district has sought to preserve this natural musical instrument by annually inviting artisans from Xe Dang villages to make this instrument and place it at a waterfall in Kon Dao commune near Kon Dao. hot spring area, both to serve visitors and to preserve. However, it is not possible to preserve it effectively in a natural way like that of the Xe Dang people in their fields.

In gong culture, this region has the most famous gong set of the Xe Dang people, a precious set of gongs no different from the Tha gongs of the B’Rau people or the Kh’Leng and Xum gongs of the Gie – Trieng people, that is the set of gongs. The X’Teng gong (also known as: Pom poa or Pùm poọng…), has only 7 cards and only plays one ritual gong song to worship the God and Giang to open the folk rituals of the Xe Dang people. The sound and melody of this set of gongs are very majestic, poised and graceful. When played, it seems to shake heaven and earth. This set of gongs is considered “noble” gongs, ceremonial gongs because only when Only the old people can use it during the ceremony and it is almost only used by the elderly. This set of gongs, on behalf of the gongs of the Xe Dang people, was included in the dossier submitted to UNESCO to recognize the Central Highlands Gong Cultural Space as a cultural heritage by music experts from the Institute of Notation Culture. world in 2005. However, this type of gong is also very few, currently in the Tu Mo Rong area there are only about 3-4 complete sets, Dak To district also only has 2 sets.

That is just a very small part of the culture, land and people of Xe Dang in Tu Mo Rong, the northernmost land of Kon Tum.

Tran Vinh

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