30,000 exhibits of Central Highlands people collected by retired police officer

văn hóaLast update 13:31 | 16/06/2017

In the past tens of years, Colonel Dang Minh Tam, former officer of the Lam Dong Provincial Police has overcome various difficulties going to rural villages to collect artifacts related to traditions, rituals and lifestyles of ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands in an attempt to preserve the soul of the ethnic minorities amid the “international integration” wave and “cultural artifacts drains”.

The number of artifacts of ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands collected by Mr. Tam has reached tens of thousands.

The “throne” of Elephant’s King. According to its owner, before hunts for elephants in the forest for domestication to serve people, young men from the villages had to ask Elephant’s King for permission. The King would then sit on the throne to perform several worshipping rituals.

After a trip to Lac Duong district with professors at Da Lat University, Tam began to make up a wooden statue of a young child climbing up stairs, which is placed next to a statue of a K’ho woman returning home from farming.

In his ancient Ché (a type of local people’s vase) collection, Tam showed us a special Ché of the Bahnar people, which was produced in the 13th century and cost some 15 water buffalos at the time. Tam said it is among the most precious Ché of the ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands.

A set of Đàn đá, a type of musical instruments made of stone in the primitive time before the advent of metalware, was collected and preserved perfectly by Tam.

Hundreds of musical instruments of the ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands are on display. Some are so rare that you can probably only see them here.

Various old ropes used to domesticate elephants and primitive weapons, such as bows, crossbows and knives, were also on display.

The bronze drums of the Dong Son culture discovered in the Central Highlands are also present in this exhibition area.

A knife used for an offering ceremony of the Koho people, which took Tam several years to buy.

Tam said, he has collected over 30,000 cultural and spiritual artifacts of the ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands. In addition to his exhibition at home that can meet demands of students and researchers, Tam also sent parts of his huge collection to exhibitions in various places.

Huge drums, some are 1.5m in height, are made from skin of elephant, deer or ox.

Tam also owns a rare jewelry collection, including rings, necklaces and bracelets as well as a ring casting set of the Churu people. 

Fish hunting tools of ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands

An antique bamboo clothes collected by Tam

A loom that local people used to make brocades


This entry was posted in Du lịch - Tourism, Tây Nguyên - Central Highlands, Văn hóa - Culture and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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