Lao Cai announces four additional national intangible cultural heritages

Friday, 2021-07-09 10:52:47
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Horse racing in Na Hoi Commune, Bac Ha District.
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NDO - Four of Lao Cai's cultural icons have been recognised as the national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

They include a horse racing festival in Bac Ha District, the art of costume decoration of the Hmong Hoa ethnic minority in Bac Ha District, the art of costume decoration of the Nung Din people in Muong Khuong District, and the traditional craft of worship painting of the Red Dao people in Sapa Town.

The Bac Ha Horse Racing Festival is a typical cultural feature of Bac Ha District. The festival is held annually in June at the stadium of Bac Ha Town. As neither a commercial nor professional race, the festival at Bac Ha features farmers and pack horses. Riders have no saddle or stirrups, just a horse belt, with two iron hooks tied to ropes on either side of the horse’s mouth for control. The people of Bac Ha first organised the horse racing festival in ancient times. After having disappeared for a long period of time, it has been held annually since June 2008, meeting the needs of people’s cultural and spiritual lives and contributing to the preservation and promotion of the cultural and sporting traditions of ethnic minority groups in Bac Ha.

Unique traditional patterns on the brocade costume of women from the Hmong Hoa people is one of the branches of the Hmong ethnic minority group. The brocade clothing of the Hmong Hoa people makes a strong impression with the prominent red and deep blue colours, and conventional geometric patterns. The traditional Mongolian Brocade costume consists of a scarf, a blouse, a pleated skirt, and a long waist belt.

The costumes of the Nung Din people are decorated with silver carvings. Aesthetics are also created through techniques of embroidery, fabric stitching, and metal and silver beading. Decorative patterns on costumes express ethnic beliefs and worldview through devotional natural worshiping symbols like the sun and water sources associated with agricultural practices.

The traditional worship painting craft is associated with the very rich, mysterious and sacred spiritual life of the Red Dao people. The Red Dao people have many crafts, but the profession of making worship paintings is one of the most unique crafts, imbuing national cultural identity and reflecting the multi-layered world, spirituality, beliefs, and philosophy in each worship picture.

The announcement of four more national intangible cultural heritages will contribute to facilitating the conservation, preservation and promotion of the unique cultural heritage of ethnic minority communities in Lao Cai.