Sat, 15th Jun 2024 21:05 (GMT +7)

"Le cap sac" - the maturity ritual of the San Diu in Quang Ninh

Tuesday, 21/05/2024 | 16:47:00 [GMT +7] A  A

Le cap sac (maturity ritual) is an original religious trait of the San Diu, an ethnic minority group living in some areas in Quang Ninh province.

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The ‘cap sac’ ritual helps to educate sons of the San Diu ethnic group, about the cultural values of their ancestors, thus raising their gratitude to the ancestors and the gods.

The ‘cap sac’ ritual of the San Diu ethnic group is an important ritual for every San Diu ethnic man, as it declares his coming-of-age and affirms his role in the family and the community. The ritual has been well preserved for generations among the San Diu ethnic community in some areas like Van Don, Cam Pha, Ha Long, Tien Yên, Dong Trieu, Dam Ha, etc.

“Cap sac” is a ceremony to certify a man as a shaman, who can then perform worship rituals and is protected by genies. This ceremony officially certifies his ability to protect and save people. The “cap sac” ritual was formed and since then has been practiced for generations.

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A shaman who had undergon a "cap sac" ceremony carried out New Year ceremonies at Ha Long city's Lo Phong village communal house.

In the main ritual, the master guides his disciple through many procedures to inform the genies and ask their permission to allow the disciple to become a shaman or disease teller. The master asks the genies to give his disciple a seal, subordinates, and good fortune. After the “cap sac” ceremony, the master organizes two further ceremonies to thank the genies and the ancestors.

The ‘cap sac’ ritual helps to educate sons of the San Diu ethnic group, about the cultural values of their ancestors, thus raising their gratitude to the ancestors and the gods. The ceremony also offers an opportunity to gather villagers and consolidate the neighbourhood and the solidarity within the community.

By Ha Phong