The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recently announced a list of new intangible national cultural heritage items, one of which is the Keng Loong performance art of the Thai people in Mai Chau district, the northern province of Hoa Binh.
Thai people in Mai Chau perform the Keng Loong dance
during a festive occasion.
'Loong' means a trough (used for pounding rice), and 'keng
loong' refers to the act of pounding rice in a trough with long wooden pestles.
Loong is used in agricultural production as well as in rituals of the Thai
ethnic community. Therefore, Keng Loong is one of the prominent folk cultural
activities in the district, deeply rooted in the lives of Thai people for a
In 2022, Hoa Binh submitted for national intangible heritage
recognition dossiers of three intangible cultural heritage items, which were
the technique of weaving skirt waistband patterns for the traditional Muong
ethnic costume, the Thuong Rang singing and Meng ceremony of the Muong ethnic
group; and the performance art of Keng Loong of the Thai ethnic group in Mai
The inclusion of this unique folk performance in the list of
intangible national cultural heritage not only affirms the distinctive cultural
identity of the province but also provides additional motivation for Mai Chau
to preserve and enhance its value serving tourism development.
Located on the right bank of the Da river in Quynh Lam ward, Hoa Binh city, the Ngoi communal house was recognised as a provincial-level historical and cultural relic in 1999. Upholding traditions, locals often come to the place on major festivals, full-moon days, and the first day of each lunar month, burning incense to honour deities and pray for favourable weather and good harvests.
In recent years, the movement of mass culture and arts in Kim Boi district has been maintained and developed, contributing to preserving and promoting traditional cultural values and building a cultural life at the grassroots level.
In order restore brocade weaving of the Thai ethnic group, with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Chieng Chau Brocade Weaving and Tourism Services Cooperative was established in Chieng Chau commune (Mai Chau district) in 2009.
Holding some 18,000 exhibits related to the province’s establishment and re-establishment process and an array of antiques, Hoa Binh Museum has paid due attention to the management, exhibition, and communications work so as to preserve and promote the values of the local heritage.
In the aesthetic concept of the Mong people, a woman's beauty is partly reflected through her clothes. In Mai Chau district, there are two communes inhabited by the Mong ethnic people, namely Hang Kia and Pa Co, with a combined population of over 6,000. Despite the strong development of the society, the cultural identity, notably traditional costumes, of local people is still preserved and promoted.