The Muong people account for over 63% of the population in Hoa Binh province. Over the time, the ethnic group has innovated and preserved its rich and diverse folk culture. Within this cultural background, there is a prominent, unique, and deeply humanistic art form known as Mo Muong.

 

To preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Mo Muong, Hoa Binh province, in coordination with other localities, is compiling a national dossier for the art to be included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.


Mo practitioners perform rituals at the Khai ha (going down to the field) festival of the Muong people in 2023.



 Bui Van Rum, a Mo practitioner from Rom Co hamlet, Thuong Coc commune, Lac Son district, talks about Khot, tools used in Mo Muong performance.


Mo Muong reflects the unique worldview and cosmology of the Muong ethnic group, containing profound educational significance for the community. It is associated with folk rituals imbued with sacred elements used in funerals or ceremonies to wish for the best for the Muong people.

Over the time, Mo Muong has been diminished, and many traditional values of the art are gradually fading away. Mo Muong in Hoa Binh is undergoing significant changes, including both new and positive aspects. However, it still holds an important position in the spiritual life of locals.

Bui Van Noi, a researcher and meritorious artisan from Phong Phu commune, Tan Lac district, highlighted epic, art, language, moral and spiritual values of Mo Muong.

 

 


Since 2010, the province has taken specific solutions to preserve Mo Muong, including the establishment of five clubs in Lac Son, Tan Lac, Cao Phong, Yen Thuy, and Kim Boi districts.

In addition, the title of people's and meritorious artisans conferred to Mo practitioners has encouraged them to work harder to preserve and promote the heritage values of the art.

In 2015, Hoa Binh received the sponsorship of the Vietnam Federation of UNESCO Associations for its Mo Muong. One year later, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued a decision bringing it into the national intangible cultural heritage list. In 2020, the Prime Minister ordered building a dossier for Mo Muong to seek the UNESCO recognition.

The provincial People’s Committee issued a plan dated November 25, 2021, on coordination in building the dossier, and established steering and organising committees for the work.

Dr. Pham Minh Huong, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Musicology, said the dossier has been completed and presented to competent authorities in line with regulations, noting the inclusion is expected to facilitate the preservation work.

 


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