Co Tu Night Festival in Hoi An
09/06/2017 was the first edition of the Co Tu Night Festival in Hoi An, organised by Réhahn, photographer and founder of the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum and FIDR Japan.
The event, the first of 3 celebrations throughout the summer hosted 35 members of the Co Tu ethnic group from Nam Giang Province. Showcasing their tribal customs, they performed their traditional Tan Tung Da Da dance, in a joyful parade starting from the Japanese Bridge and arriving in front of the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum (26 Phan Boi Chau). There, a weaving master demonstrated the impressive technique on the traditional backloom, creating the beads pattern of their tribal costume. An a handicraft market offered different original products, from traditional spices and herbs to hand weaved baskets and off course fabrics and clothes using their ancestral knowledge of weaving.
Tourists and locals joined the festivities, happy to be able to discover the Co Tu ethnic culture, usually harder to reach because of the remote location of their villages. This event aims at bringing the ethnic culture to people and it was a total success. The next edition will be held on the 8th of July and the 6 th of August.
Réhahn, who has been working on the recognition of the ethnic groups of Vietnam for the last 6 years, is extremely satisfied of this first edition. “I had the feeling that people around, both tourists and Vietnamese were impressed, happy and moved to see such beauty and strong culture. I believe today was a big step towards the preservation of the ethnic cultures of Vietnam. But the most important is actually the way the Co Tu felt. They all visited the museum for the first time and it was surreal and overwhelming for me to see them wandering through the different rooms, reading the story of their group, discovering the tree bark costume of their ancestors but also showing interest in the culture of other tribes that few Co Tu called “brother”. You could see that facing the challenge of keeping their traditions alive, they, in an instant, felt connected to all the other ethnic groups of the country, and also the pride to see a museum displaying, promoting and giving back its real value to their heritage. I firmly believe that if you value those people outside their community, if they can see the interest of others, Vietnamese, foreigners, they will look at their tradition a different way and will be willing to preserve it. It’s always been my goal when starting the Precious Heritage Collection and opening the museum. And my ambition is to gather the 54 ethnic groups in a giant festival for the world to see how rich is the ethnic culture of Vietnam.”