Dak Lak Provincial Museum collecting the Mnong’s musical instruments

In the orientation of activities, Dak Lak Provincial Museum always pay attention to carry out research, collection, preservation and promotion of the fine traditional cultural values of ethnic groups, bringing traditional musical instruments to become a continuous activity at the Dak Lak Provincial Museum. This is a very natural way for visitors to immerse themselves in the Central Highlands music scene.

The Dak Lak Provincial Museums have collected musical instruments of the ethnic Mnong made by Mr. Nguyen Duc (Hoa Thuan commune, Buon Ma Thuot city). Talking about the relationship with the Mnong’s musical instruments which has almost lost, he said: "From the book titled the Ede’s and Mnong’s folk music instruments in Dak Lak offered by Meritorious Artist Vu Lan, I love reading and were deep in thought about ​​reviving the Mnong’s lost musical instruments. I spend hours studying the features and structures described in the book and then I imitated to made them". After many times of studying, he finally made the instruments successfully. He donated some instruments to the Dak Lak Provincial Museum for preservation and introduction to visitors. The Mnong’s musical instruments made by him are the following ones: The instrument M'Blo includes two types: M'Blo Dit (tiny one) and M'Blo Dong (big one). These two types are mainly different by the diameter of the tube rather than the length. Both are about 30 - 35cm long. The M'Blo Dong is up to 5cm in diameter while that of the M'Blo Dit is only about 2 - 2.5cm. Pressed holes are aligned with the wind holes. The flute Wao (wind instrument) is only a name without any meanings as many other musical instruments. Only the Mnông Preh family has this instrument while the other families also have this "flute" instrument but its structure is completely different and called with another name. The flute Wao can be played without another instruments together and it is narrative genre, expressing emotions, and it can also be accompanied for a song. There haven’t seen that the flute Wao is played together with other instruments in the form of solo or orchestra. The flute Wao is a musical instrument for men and it can be played without taboos. The Lot or the N'hum (Wind instrument): They called with two names but it is only one instrument. The Mnong Gar called it Lôt while the Mnong in the south (Preh, Budang, Nong, Ma, ...) called it N'hum. This is a flute made from a small bamboo tube. It is the tip of the little finger or the index finger in diameter, hollow both ends. One end is a blown and the other end of the tube is five hand-touch holes straight. The Lotto or N'hum is almost the same as the the Ede’s Ding Buot, but the the wind end is completely different and the number of hand-touch holes are more.

Mr. Nguyen Duc talking about the book and instruments

Talking about shapes and structure of the instruments

Instruct the Museum makers how to blow the Mnong’s flutes

Tran Hang