Introduction to Jars in the Life of Ethnic Groups in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, by Luu Hung

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INTRODUCTION TO JARS IN THE LIFE OF ETHNIC GROUPS IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS OF VIETNAM

BY LUU HUNG

 

Introduction:

Dr. Luu Anh Hung is a linguist specializing in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. He is Vice-director of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi.

 

Contact:

luuhungvme@yahoo.com

 

Abstract:

A notable component of the shared culture of the various indigenous groups who populate the five provinces comprising the Central Highlands of Vietnam is the accumulation, classification, transmission, and use of stoneware jars. Jars play vital roles in the fermentation of wine from rice or other grains, the offering of the wine to the spirits during rituals, and its presentation to guests and members of the community. In the absence of local production of stoneware, all the jars have entered the region through trade. Each group has developed its own complex and nuanced system of naming, classifying, and evaluating jars, and important jars have been passed on as heirlooms over centuries. This article provides an overview of the significance of jars in the culture of the Central Highlands.