Cham pottery and Xoe Thai dances seek UNESCO’s heritage recognition

15:19 22/03/2019
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has applied for UNESCO recognition of the Xoe dancing of Thai ethnic people and the pottery making of Cham ethnic people as an intangible heritage of humanity and intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent afeguarding.

Accordingly, the Prime Minister recently has agreed with the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism on behalf of the Government to sign dossiers on Xoe Thai dance and Cham ethnic pottery making arts to submit to UNESCO to seek the title Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

Thai people performing Xoe Thai dance.

The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism was also urged to work with UNESCO Vietnam to submit completed dossiers to UNESCO by March 31.

According to the VNA, Xoe Thai is a unique type of traditional dance that is associated with and plays a significant role in the daily life of Thai ethnic communities in the northwest of Vietnam, especially in the provinces of Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La and Yen Bai.

There are about 30 Xoe Thai dances, which have been developed, protected and handed down through generations intact over hundreds of years, including xoe quat (xoe dance with a fan), xoe khan (xoe dance with a scarf), xoe non (xoe dance with a conical hat) and many others with contents reflecting community activities and expressing the Thai people’s emotion.

With gentle and alluring rhythms, dancers usually form a circle around a festive flame and move to the sound of melodic traditional music.

Xoe dance has already been recognized as a national intangible heritage. 

Meanwhile, Cham pottery plays an important role in the Cham economy, culture, and daily life.

Cham potters use their skills to create a variety of pottery products. 

Cham people in the South central provinces of Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan, particularly those residing in the Ninh Thuan’s Bau Truc pottery village, have long been renowned for their art of pottery.

One of the most outstanding features of the traditional Cham pottery is the technique of shaping their wares by hand rather than by a wheel and their use of simple tools or shells to decorate the products.

By Thien Minh