Ban Vuong ancestor cult of the Dao ethnic group in Quang Ninh province
thamnguyen99 27-10-2020, 14:52
Ban Vuong ancestor cult of the Dao ethnic group in Quang Ninh province
Shamans at the ceremony. (Photo: bienphong.com.vn)
According to legend, Ban Vuong was called Long Khuyen Ho. He was honored by King Binh Vuong and was allowed to marry the princess after he had defeated the aggressors. The couple had twelve children, six daughters and six sons. His twelve children were given by King Binh Vuong with different family names, which later led to the twelve relatives of the Dao ethnic group. When King Binh Vuong died, Ban Vuong was crowned king. Nevertheless, he lived very modestly and taught the Dao people how to grow rice and how to weave. After his death, Ban Vuong was honored and adored by the Dao ethnic group on the altar like an ancestor. To this day, Ban Vuong is considered the origin of all family lines of the Dao ethnic group and has been called a good house ghost. Like the other saints, he was respected for rice, literature and animal husbandry in the Dao home. Ban Vuong is still worshiped in the important rituals of the Dao ethnic group. The employee of the cultural department of the Ba Che district, Vi Thi Tuyen, said:

“Quang Ninh Province has developed the concept for the preservation and continuation of the cultural identity of the Dao. It was ratified and perfected in 2019. According to the historical document, the ancestors of the Dao ethnic group lived in Son Hai Village in Ba Che County. To this day, the village still preserves numerous special customs and traditions of the Dao. ”

The ancestral cult of Ban Vuong is typical of the everyday life of the Dao people. For them this tradition is relevant with the fate of every person, every family and the whole nation. In the prayer for Ban Vuong, flowers and grain should be placed on the altar by representatives of the twelve family lineages to show respect for them. Some mystical rituals such as dancing and jumping fire take place during the prayer. They also belong to the peculiarity of the culture of the Dao ethnic group in Ba Che village. Vice-chairman of the Thanh Son Township People's Committee, Hoang Van Duc described the altar for Ban Vuong.

“The temple for Ban Vuong of the Dao ethnic group has three altars. The ancestors of the Dao are honored on the altar in the middle. On the altar on the right, three saints are honored for the Cap Sac festival of Dao. On the left are three other saints who are important for the annual festival of Ban Vuong. ”

From the beginning to the end of the prayer for Ban Vuong, both shamans and those involved are only allowed to eat vegan food. The ancestral cult of Ban Vuong is a typical custom in the spiritual life of the Dao ethnic group. It contains the mentality and reminds people of their origin. The ritual is also a thread for communal connection. The Dao ethnic group in Ba Che County celebrates the Ban Vuong festival annually in the second month of the lunar calendar in Son Hai village.

Giang Seo Pua

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