Gongs – Echoes of Central Highlands forests & mountains

Generations of ethnic groups in the Central Highlands have used gongs to convey their innermost sentiments and communicate with their deities.

The Central Highlands gong culture spreads across 5 provinces – Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong. The musical instrument has been practiced by Ba Na, E De, Co Tu, M’Nong and Gia Rai ethnic groups.

The gong cultural space was recognised as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. 

M’Nong people in Jun hamlet, Lak district, Dak Lak province play gongs at a ceremony to pray for the health of their elephants. 

A Xo Dang girl plays a gong.

Patriarch of Jun hamlet Y Tong Drang tests the sound of gongs.

Gia Rai people play gongs at a grave-leaving ceremony.

Folk artisans from the Central Highlands play gongs at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Hanoi.

M’Nong children in Jun hamlet learn to play gongs. 

The musical instrument has become a tourist attraction in the land of forests and mountains.

A gong performance

Foreign tourists dance to the sound of gongs performed by M’Nong artisans inside a traditional long house.


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