Recently, Insider (US) ran an article on the unique features of the community architecture of the Ba Na people. This is originally one of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, who mainly live in the Central Highlands.
In the religious culture of the people of the Central Highlands, the community house has a particularly important position and is compared to the “roof” of the forest, this is also the place of communal cultural activities of the villagers.
Natasha Pairaudeau, a researcher at the Center for History and Economics at Cambridge University, told Insider that each village of the Ba Na people has its own community hall. It is also the highest house in the village.
It is known that each typical community house is usually 15 to 20 meters high, but it can also be built to more than 30 meters high. In this place often take place important events, gatherings of the people. Ba Na youths go to community centers in their spare time to practice gongs, dance and sing. And while not a home to live in, this place still welcomes distinguished guests to stay overnight.
With materials available in the region, the communal houses of the Ba Na people are mainly made of bamboo and wood. The two sides of the roof of the house are chamfered to create the most points. On the inside, the bamboo slats are bonded together to support the roof.
“Decades ago, when the community house was about to be built, each Ba Na household was instructed to prepare only a certain amount of bamboo to make the roof,” said Dinh Blot, who joined the villagers when making the roof of the communal house in the village of Plei Hle Ktu, Gia Lai, said. According to Mr Dinh Blot, the project took 5 years to complete.
Meanwhile, expert Natasha shared, communal houses are usually built on stilts. In addition to preventing flooding, this type of architecture also helps people use the space below to keep livestock and poultry. To get to the house, people have to climb the carved wooden posts step by step. Inside the house is a large and single storey, which can accommodate all the people in the village.
Since the community house is the place to organize many spiritual and religious activities, many items for traditional rituals such as wine or gongs are also kept here.
“On important occasions, villagers will gather around canned jars of wine. It’s part of community activities,” explains expert Natasha.
In recent years, many traditional community houses have been restored with concrete and metal roofs.
Currently, local officials are making efforts with the people to preserve and preserve the traditional community houses. In which a number of houses were opened to welcome visitors to visit and learn about the culture and beliefs of the Ba Na people.
@ Dan Viet