The Xo Dang’s “building the water pipeline” ceremony

(VOVWORLD) - Every November and December, ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands, including the Xo Dang in Kon Tum province, organize rituals to thank Gods and pray for luck and peace for the villagers. The ceremony to build a water pipeline and worship the water source is one of the important events.

The Xo Dang’s “building the water pipeline” ceremony - ảnh 1Xo Dang men are making a bamboo water pipe to fetch water from the source to the village. (photo: VNA)

The Xo Dang is one of 12 indigenous ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands.  Their cultural life is rich and diverse from its religious customs to traditions and festivals. The Xo Dang perform regular agricultural rituals solemnly and respectfully to thank Gods. One of these is the ‘building the water pipeline’ ceremony.

Customarily, the Xo Dang organize the ‘building the water pipeline’ ceremony when the current water source doesn’t ensure its quality and quantity, when they settle in a new village, or at the end of the year to celebrate new rice harvest.

A Kenh, a Xo Dang man in Dak To district, Kon Tum province, said before the ritual, all the villagers come to the wharf to clean it up and prepare other work.

“Before the New Year ceremony, we have to prepare the water pipeline. Since the old time, our ancestors paid great attention to having a water pipeline from the source down to the village,” A Kenh said.

The Xo Dang believe that water is more important than anything. Life is good and fruitful thanks to a good water source. A water pipeline ceremony is to inform the Water Gods, Mountain Gods, and River Gods that there are people living there. They would like to be blessed with good health and successful business. The villagers will always love, unite, and share the water with each other.

Phan Van Hoang, Deputy Director of Kon Tum province’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said that the Xo Dang take care of the water source every year so that  it will always be clean and fresh. When seeing this, the Gods will not reprimand the villagers but support them. 

“For the local people, the forest is a very sacred place. They are afraid to invade. The water source is on the mountain top, where trees are very lush. The village chief chooses a day to hold the worship. All the villagers go to the forest to repair the water pipeline,” said Hoang.

The Xo Dang’s “building the water pipeline” ceremony - ảnh 2People celebrate the new water pipe. (photo: VNA)

Young men and reputable people will be chosen to collect materials to repair the water pipeline, usually bamboo. Phan Van Hoang, Deputy Director of Kon Tum province’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said: “The bamboo tubes are split in half and then installed at the water source to fetch water to the entire village.”

The worshippers tightly seal the water source before the ritual. After reading the prayer, the village chief clears the way for water to flow into the pipe. He tells the villagers to keep the water source clean and abundant so that they will always be healthy and prosperous.

On the day of inaugurating the new water pipe, every family prepares large bamboo tubes to fetch water home right after the ceremony. They also use the fresh water to make liquor for special events.

Artisan Y Sinh, in Dak To district, said: “Each household must bring home a big bamboo tube of water as a wish for the coming year of good health, bountiful crops, and better harvest of rice and cassava than the previous year.”

On this occasion, visitors to the village are invited to have a meal and join festive activities to celebrate the new water flow.

Related News