PARTICULAR TRAIT OF SON LA BUFFALO FIGHT

A very particular and unique feature of the festival is that all the fight buffaloes are naturally selected from farmers’ productive labor in the local for competition. After finishing the competition, all buffaloes are brought home and taken care of for production continuity, and they will meet again in the next year festival, therefore, there were buffaloes got 2, 3 times champions over the competition years.

 
THE MYSTERY OF HANGING GRAVES ALONG DA RIVER

Many hanging graves of encient people were recently discovered. They were put dispersedly in many caves on craggy cliffs along a part of Da river which is flowing through Suoi Bang commune, Van Ho district, Son La province.
A survey was made by scientists and they also picked up specimens of some caves filled with a large number of wooden coffins for research such as Tang Me, Na Loi and Khoang Tuong caves.
A hanging coffin in a cave grave
Tang Me cave is about 2.5 km far from Na Loi village in the east. It is 12 m high, 17 m wide, 16 m deep and is filled with 30 coffins made of “dinh thoi” wood – a good quality type of wood, no woodworm and able to suffer from sunlight and rain. 2 other caves located adjacently to the Tang Me erea are Na Loi with 36 wooden coffins and Khoang Tuong with 7 ones. All these coffins are skillfully carved out from huge tree-trunks cut vericallly into 2 segments and shaped like a gutter with “fiddlehead-dovetail” structure at 2 ends. Some of them are even engraved delicately a serrated model on their bodies.
As a result of C-14 analysis, these graves date back to 1240 years. This burial type of encient people comes of natural conditions and their wishes to be safe in the afterlife. Tang Me cave is very historically valuable in encient people’s belief culture and anthropology that need studying carefully.
According to archaeologists, other hanging graves are found out in Quan Hoa district, Thanh Hoa province which is settled along Da River also.
National vestige certificate
Seeing that this type of burial is very historially valuable in encient people’s belief cultrure and anthropology that needs preserving for research, on 5th March 2013 Decision no. 523/QĐ-BVHTTDL was issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sport & Tourism recognized Tang Me archaeological hanging grave cave as a national vestige.

On the way to hanging graves
Starting at kilometer no.64 of the old highway no.6, following the highway no.43 about 30 kms then taking a turn and going straight in the east about 18 kms visitors can reach to Suoi Bang commune, Van Ho district, Son La province. Coming within reach of the hanging grave area, both scientists and visitors can not explain which tribe these coffins belong to and the way how encient people could carved skillfully huge tree-trunks then hung up them in caves on vertical cliffs thousand years ago as well as the reason why the dead bones remain undecomposed until now. This is the mystery and the big question waiting for the answer from scientists and visitors./.
Translate: Tien Sinh

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