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Crockery drum – a unique musical instrument of Cao Lan people

TQO - Tuyen Quang is home to over 60,000 Cao Lan ethnic minority people, accounting for 36% of the group in Vietnam.

Cao Lan people mainly reside in the districts of Son Duong, Yen Son and Ham Yen. “Trong Sanh” (crockery drum) is their unique musical instrument. Nevertheless, there are not many antique crock drums remaining in their community.

For Cao Lan people, “Trong Sanh” is played at their important ceremonies, such as ancestor worship or praying for rain and bumper crops. In addition, it is also an accompaniment for the traditional dances of the Cao Lan ethnic group.

An artisan playing “Trong Sanh” at a festival.

The drum’s body is made from earthenware, measuring about 40 cm in length and its face is about 25 cm in diameter, made of iguana or python skin.

Before staging, Cao Lan people usually soak the drum in water for about 1-2 days, helping to stretch its surface for resonant sounds. Such surface can be used for 20 years.

Every year, Cao Lan artisans and shamans in the province usually perform and promote the typical cultural characteristics of the Cao Lan people in Tuyen Quang to the public, in which “Trong Sanh” is their most typical musical instrument.

Quang Hoa

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