Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 11 December 2019

Appraisal of the Then Belief’s Preservation in Vietnam Through a Pang Then Ritual of the Tày People in Lào Cai Province

Pham Minh Huong, Nguyen Thuy Tien

Vietnamese Institute for Musicology, Vietnam

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Pages: 960-964

Keywords: Then Ritual, Vietnamese Culture, Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Tày People


Vietnam has fifty-four distinct groups. Religious beliefs have always played a significant role in every Vietnamese ethnic group. Then is a form of ritual belief system of Tày, Nùng, and Thái ethnic groups in Northern Vietnam’s mountainous provinces. Then ritual practices can take place with different purposes. Each Then ritual is identified with a unique integration of music, dance, fine arts and language. In this paper, we would like to describe a Pang Then ceremony, which celebrates rank advancement of a Then master. During 3 days, the Then master sings and plays Tính Tẩu (a long-necked lute with a gourd body and two or three silk strings) at the same time. The lyric of song is narrating the path to the Realm of Heaven of the Then master and his spirited Then soldiers. At the end of the third day, all participants take part in the festivities: singing, dancing and drinking. Not only are the rituals preserved, but also the unique art of Then belief is separated. Then music and dance has eventually become a form of entertainment art in daily life. Every 2 years, a national festival of Then singing with Tính Tẩu has been organized. Some new works based on the Then original tunes is performed in these festivals.


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