A ritual praying for the health of elephants has been held by ethnic M’Nong people in Krong Na commune of Buon Don district, in the Central Highland province of Dak Lak, as part of the province’s seventh Coffee Festival.
The elephant plays an important and symbolic role in the cultural life of the M’Nong ethnic people. They consider elephants as members of their community.
Many M’Nong families use rituals as an opportunity to thank the gods and pray for the health of the elephants. For the local people of the district, elephants are considered their greatest assets and are gifts from the Jade Emperor.
A shaman, a respected religious person with profound knowledge of M’Nong customs, goes to families, who have elephants to perform a ceremony to pray for the health and obedience of the animals.
The offerings include wine, steamed rice, bottles of water, and pork. The ceremony is also accompanied by a gong performance.
This unique ritual typically captures the attention of both local people and tourists during the 7th Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival which is held in Dak Lak province.
Girls wearing traditional outfits perform a M’Nong ethnic dance.
The local ethnic customs are kept alive in order to preserve the traditions of the ethnic people and to entertain tourists.
The Gong performance in particular proves popular among visitors.