VIE-STYLE

Festival presents most important ritual of Rơ Măm ethnic people

Lễ mở kho lúa, literally meaning ‘rice storehouse opening ceremony’, is to mark the conclusion of a rice production cycle. According to village elder A Ren, who conducts the lễ mở kho lúa in Le Village, the ritual expresses the aspirations and wishes to conquer nature, as well as their hope to have a good life.

KON TUM — A demonstration of the Lễ mở kho lúa, the most important ritual of Rơ Măm ethnic people, has been presented at a festival dedicated to the culture, sports and tourism of ethnic groups in the Central Highlands region, taking place in Kon Tum City.

319111 lua trau | FDI Việt Nam
Villagers gather at the rông communal house to invite Yàng to participate in the ceremony. — VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

Photo Cao Nguyên

Living mostly in Le Village, Mô Rai Commune, Sa Thầy District in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, Rơ Măm ethnic people have several significant rituals such as weddings, lễ bỏ mả (leaving tomb) – a ritual to ask for the dead’s permission to let the living move the corpse to a new tomb, lễ mừng nhà rông mới – ritual to celebrate new rông communal house, and other rituals associated with agricultural activities.

319108 lua canh20la1 | FDI Việt Nam
A man places a fresh tree branch on the door of a rice storehouse. The act expresses their wish for continued bumper crops. — VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

Photo Cao Nguyên

Lễ mở kho lúa, literally meaning ‘rice storehouse opening ceremony’, is to mark the conclusion of a rice production cycle.

According to village elder A Ren, who conducts the lễ mở kho lúa in Le Village, the ritual expresses the aspirations and wishes to conquer nature, as well as their hope to have a good life.

Every year, in November and December when the harvest is completed, the Rơ Măm people hold a ceremony to open the rice storehouse and pray to Yàng (God) and genies to thank them for giving the villagers a bumper harvest.

319109 lua nem20gao1 | FDI Việt Nam
Village elder A Ren throws rice grains in a symbolic sacrifice during the Lễ mở kho lúa ritual – the most important ritual of Rơ Măm ethnic people. — VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

Photo Cao Nguyên

“The rice storehouse opening ceremony takes place during three days, using different offerings such as a white goat, a black goat, a white chicken, a black chicken, a white buffalo and a black buffalo,” said A Ren.

In the first day of the ceremony, all the families in the village bring offerings to their rice fields to pray to Yàng. The men pour rice wine in front of their own storehouses before opening the door for the women to get rice to bring home. They then place a fresh branch on the door which symbolises their wish for continued bumper crops.

The head of village will also conduct a ritual at the rông communal house to invite Yàng to participate in the ceremony. All the families then will get fire from the ‘sacred fire’ in the rông house to build up in their own kitchens to prepare a special meal for the New Year.

319112 lua gia20gao1 | FDI Việt Nam
Rơ Măm women pound rice grains to prepare a special meal for the lễ mở kho lúa. — VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

Photo Cao Nguyên

On the second day, the head of village will conduct a major ceremony that gathers all the villagers. A buffalo will be offered as a sacrifice to the Yàng.

The third day will be a ‘farewell’ to the God.

After the solemn rituals, the villagers will gather at the yard of the rông communal house to sing and dance, to enjoy cơm lam (rice cooked in bamboo tubes) and rice wine.

The rice storehouse opening ceremony of the Rơ Măm people in Le Village is a unique traditional cultural activity.

319110 lua com20lam | FDI Việt Nam
Villagers enjoy cơm lam (rice cooked in bamboo tubes) and rice wine after the ceremony. — VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

Photo Cao Nguyên

Presenting the harmony between nature, religious belief and humans, the ritual also expresses human gratitude to the Gods through sacrifices. — 

Theo Vietnamnews