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Viet Nam

Kin Pang Then

Celebration for Deities' Power


VietNam_A04_KinPangThen

(from left)
- The sorceress in Kin pang then ceremony.
- Dances during the ritual.


Kin pang then ceremony is carried out by a sorceress, who is believed to lead an invisible army to the skyworld, to offer deities presents, and pray for peaceful, happy life of inhabitants in the village. This ceremony is held in spring time.


Reasons for selection

Traditional dances which include ritual dances and ordinary dances are important elements in Kin pang then ceremony of Tai ethnic minority living in Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province. This ceremony is held by a sorceress with participation of local inhabitants, in the spring time, aimed at praying to gods, for peaceful life of man, animal, plant and prosperity. These dances reflect the Tai's belief about the supernatural world, their conception of life, their aesthetics, soul and feeling. Therefore, these dances are considered to be one of the unique and distinctive folk performing arts of Tai people. In addition, nowadays these dances are on the verge of disappearing due to the rapid social-economic changes.


Area where performed

North-Western mountainous region of Viet Nam


Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance


Detailed explanation

Traditional dances are the important element in Kin Pang Then ceremony of the Tai ethnic group living in Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province. This ceremony is carried out by a sorceress, who is believed to lead an invisible army to the skyworld, to offer deities presents, and pray for peaceful, happy life of inhabitants in the village. This ceremony is held in spring time.

In the process of the ceremony, ritual dances are performed by unmarried girls who are also adopted children of the sorceress. Traditional musical instruments include: a bunch of small bells that can make sound as a result of movement of player's hand, a kind of stringed instrument called tinh tau in Tai language. Some ritual dances reflect the Tai ethnic group's conception of life, for example the dance named Sweeping withered flowers has meaning that if flowers wither, it does not mean everything comes to an end, on the contrary withered flowers come back to the root of a tree, and make the revival of new-born flowers. So, this dance has hidden meaning about the belief of eternal revival of people, plants, animals.

There is a variety of ordinary dances which are performed by a lot of local inhabitants when the ceremony ends. These collective dances show aesthetics, soul and feeling of Tai ethnic group.


Publication and textual documentation

not yet available


Audio documentation

N/A


Visual documentation

already available


Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

Viet Nam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies


Data provider

Ms. Hoang Son
Head of Traditional Culture Section
Viet Nam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies
Address: La Thanh Dyke Street, O Cho Dua, Dong Da district, Hanoi, Viet Nam