Nearly 200 People Engaged in Building Traditional Longhouses in Tay Nguyen
In the village of Kon Ron, located in Ngoc Reo commune, Dak Ha district, hundreds of Xo Dang people have embarked on a remarkable endeavor to construct new longhouses using traditional materials such as bamboo, wood, and thatch. These longhouses, which stand at an impressive height of nearly 16 meters, are an integral part of Xo Dang culture and have served as the heart of the village for many years.
Due to the natural wear and tear over time, the existing longhouses in the village had deteriorated and were in need of repair. In mid-September, the villagers began pooling their resources and efforts to rebuild the longhouses and perform a Yàng ceremony, a spiritual ritual to seek blessings for the village. Some individuals were assigned the task of dismantling the old longhouses, while others ventured into the deep forests to gather the necessary materials for the construction of new longhouses. A strong sense of voluntarism and self-motivation drove the participation in this project.
The construction process of these longhouses does not involve any architectural blueprints. Instead, it relies on the collective memory, experience, and utilization of available materials while ensuring adherence to traditional architectural principles.
Women in the village play a crucial role in the construction process by gathering fresh thatch and boiling the ropes to ensure their durability and resistance to pests. Meanwhile, the men engage in tasks such as constructing the framework, lifting and assembling pillars, securing joints, and ensuring the overall strength and aesthetics of the longhouses.
With a population of over 900 people, mostly belonging to the Xo Dang ethnic group (a branch of the Tơ Dra ethnic group), the village strives to complete the longhouses ahead of schedule to serve significant village celebrations such as the Ting Peng ceremony (an offering to the spiritual deity) and the Ethnic New Year. In some cases, the villagers have even worked through the night to achieve this goal.
The completed longhouses stand tall at a height of 15.5 meters with a width of 12 meters. The main section of the longhouse spans 22 meters in length, while the entrance porch extends 5 meters. With a total floor area of over 300 square meters, these longhouses have a capacity to accommodate more than 200 individuals.
The dedication and collective effort of the Xo Dang people in rebuilding their longhouses exemplify their commitment to preserving their cultural heritage and ensuring the continuity of their traditional way of life.