Health worship of the M’Nong

(VOVWORLD) -Health worship rituals are an important religious custom of the M’Nong in the Central Highlands. The blessed person feels relaxed, secured and protected.
Health worship of the M’Nong - ảnh 1 A patriarch conducts a health worship ceremony (

The health worship ceremony is held among family members in the evening. The home owner invites a shaman to conduct the ritual. They prepare two vases of wine, a pig, a chicken, a bottle of water, a bowl of steamed rice, and a candle. U Wit in Ea Huar commune, Dak Lak province, elaborates: “When a sick person recovers, their family organizes a health worship ceremony with the offering of pork and chicken. After the ceremony, we are blessed to be healthier and able to do hard work, and be protected from bad luck.”

The worship is held both inside and outside the house. Besides pork, chicken, and wine, the family has to prepare items representing their wealth such as the buffalo and cow, made of banana trees, and mini gongs made of dry gourds.

Health worship of the M’Nong - ảnh 2An outdoor worship

During the outdoor worship, the shaman told the spirits to take away the votive offerings and should not come back to disturb the family. Bo Mplul , a M’Nong man in Ea Huar commune, says: “The worship prays to the genies and the deceased to help the sick get well and to eat and work normally. The souls should not obstruct upon him.”

The shaman then performs the ritual inside the house. The sick person sits near the offerings which also includes a bronze bracelet, and a piece of cotton. The shaman sits facing the sick person and prays: “We pray for our family member to be healthy, to eat and sleep well. The genies will bless him to be strong to do farm work.”

Then the shaman dips the piece of cotton and the bronze bracelet in the offering water, touches them on the chest of the sick, and puts the bracelet on the sick’s wrist. The affected person drinks the wine offering first, followed by other family members. The shaman also brings offerings to worship the kitchen genie for keeping the fire and warmth for the family.

Though most M’Nong people visit a healthcare center when they are sick, some families have maintained a health worship to congratulate the sick person’s recovery and preserve their group’s traditions.

To Tuan