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Ma ethnic people strive to safeguard traditional musical instruments

by NDO31 August 2022 Last updated at 17:00 PM

VTV.vn - With the support of functional sectors and local authorities, teachers and students at Loc Bac School in Lam Dong Province, mostly Ma ethnic people, have implemented a project on preserving and promoting the traditional musical instruments.

Elder K’Troi (centre) teaches students how to play a traditional musical instrument of the Ma ethnic people.

Within the project, the team members have carried out surveys and held talks with elders, local leaders, instrumentalists and Ma ethnic students in Loc Bac Commune in order to find out the reasons why the traditional music and musical instruments of the Ma people have gradually been falling into oblivion.

The project team has received enthusiastic support from elders and veteran instrumentalists in providing instruction for the students on making and playing musical instruments, such as bamboo lutes and gourds.

One of the participating elders is K’Pia, an expert in making instrumentals in village 4, Loc Bac Commune. Through his skilful hands, a dried gourd, several small bamboo tubes and beeswax were shaped into popular instruments of the Ma ethnic people.

Meanwhile, elder K’Troi in village 2 is the owner of a valuable collection of Ma ethnic instruments, including a set of Droong gongs, bamboo lutes, and trumpets.

The project has been highly appreciated for cultivating the love and passion for Ma traditional culture among students and young people in general, while raising their awareness and responsibility of safeguarding their group’s cultural heritage.

Under the instruction of K'Troi, students learn how to make bamboo lutes and take note on the making process of this instrument. The finished products are brought into the school's music room to display and introduce to students.

The elders also notarise Ma ethnic folk songs performed on the traditional instruments in order to safeguard and further disseminate the traditional melodies.

In a bid to further promote Ma ethnic music to the community, the project team launched a fanpage to connect Ma communities across the country and help young Ma ethnic people to have a deeper understanding on their traditional culture, music and instruments, thus increasing their awareness of preserving their ancestor’s heritage.

A music club was also established, attracting positive participation from local students, who not only come from Ma ethnic tribe but also other groups.

A gong performance at a traditional festival of Ma ethnic people (Photo: baotintuc.vn)

K’Thu, a tenth grader from Loc Bac School, said that watching performances by artisans, and learning to play gongs, bamboo lutes and gourds, made her prouder of the cultural heritage of her ethnic group. At the same time, she felt a higher sense of responsibility to preserve the traditional values that are gradually being lost.

Do Thi Thuy Kieu, a Kinh ethnic student in class 11A2 at the same school, shared that taking part in lessons on playing gongs and playing musical instruments has helped her to deepen her friendship with Ma ethnic friends, and understand more about the culture of the land where she is living.

The project on preserving and promoting traditional musical instruments of Ma ethnic group by teachers and students at Loc Bac School won the second prize at the 14th Lam Dong Provincial Awards on Science and Technology.

The project has been highly appreciated for cultivating the love and passion for Ma traditional culture among students and young people in general, while raising their awareness and responsibility of safeguarding their group’s cultural heritage.

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