Vietnam: Taidam “paenk khwan” ceremony

Taidam, an ethnic minority community living in north-west Vietnam, have a strong belief in evil spirits, which can cause illness, while good spirits or more specifically the presence of the “khwan” (the soul) in the body preserves health. The “khwan” might be broken or overcome by fear or some supernatural powers, which leads to sickness or being continuously tired.

Therefore, after someone's soul is broken, their family will carry out a ceremony in order to please the soul and "repair" it. This takes place on a reasonable day from the Taidam calendar. People make offerings such as rice, fish and traditional silver jewelry, all of which lie on some tables and are put in front of the person's bed. A powwow is invited and gives a speech of aroudn two hours, suggetsing the reason for the sickness and asingk for forgiveness. When it finished, cords are tied around the wrist and the neck of the sick person.

This ceremony is usually held before a person starts on a long trip, to cure an illness or rid them of the memory of a sorrowful event. The scale depends on each situation and the status of the health of the person. It is believed that these ceremonies help to sustain the soul in the body and keep evil spirits out, preserving and restoring health as well as helping to strengthen the soul in order to face life's catastrophes.

No Associated files

Date: 17/10/2012

Categories:

Culture and Tradition
Indigenous Peoples
Religion/Religious minorities

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Press Contact Information

Name: taidam kon

This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union
Not-for-profit web design by Fat Beehive.