Last update: 01:41 | 19/03/2017
The Gie Trieng have a population of 33,000 people living mainly in the northern part of the Central Highlands.
About two thirds of them cluster in Nam Giang district, Quang Nam province.
The Gie Trieng have developed diverse folk music genres and musical instruments. The Dinh Tut is a typical flute played at Gie Trieng festivals.
In the old days, the Gie Trieng blew through bamboo tubes to awaken the soul of the rice at new crop festivals. They have produced at least 10 kinds of bamboo flutes.
The Dinh Tut is the most popular one. A newborn child is welcomed by the sound of a Dinh Tut.
At a wedding ceremony, the new couple is greeted by joyous melodies from a Dinh Tut. When people return to Mother Earth, they are mourned by the Dinh Tut.
A Dinh Tut is a set of 6 bamboo tubes of different lengths. Each tube produces one tone.
Zơ Ram Nhía in Nam Giang district said “We arrange 6 bamboo tubes from narrow and short to big and long. In the past, our ancestors played the Dinh Tut at big events such as the New Year Festival.”
The Dinh Tut is played at new rice ceremonies, worship ceremonies of genies, and community meetings in the Rong house. When gongs open the festival, six boys play the Dinh Tut while the girls dance around a fire or Neu pole.
Hiền Tiêp in Trach Mỹ township, Nam Giang district said, “The Dinh Tut dance is the signature performance of the Gie Trieng. This is an opportunity for young people to learn from the elderly to protect our traditional dance.”
A Dinh Tut performance needs 6 to 8 men, including a leader. The Gie Trieng have eight Dinh Tut flute and dance performances for different events. The Gie Trieng also blow Dinh Tut when they relax after doing farm work.
Zơ Ram Vanh, a Gie Trieng man in Thach My township, said “It’s difficult to play the Dinh Tut. But we learn from the elders. Young people learn the Dinh Tut to preserve our tradition.”
At New Year celebrations or other community events, the sound of gongs and Dinh Tut flutes echoes in the surrounding mountains and forests.