Culture highlights

Buffalo worship of the Lu

Mo khoan khoai is a ceremony of the Lu ethnic minority in Lai Chau province to honor buffalos, a very important animal to famers. 
The buffalo worship ceremony is held annually after harvest to thank the buffalo for helping famers do their work.

Held in a field near the village, mo khoan khoai is attended by all villagers. The ceremony is conducted by five shamans who must be prestigious in the community and have a happy family. Offerings for the ceremony are local produce prepared by the women in the village.



Mo khoam khoai held in a field in Ban Hon commune, Tam Duong district. 


Offerings of the ceremony include boiled chicken, pork, sticky rice, liquor and rice. 


 Shaman Tao Van Phong conducts the buffalo worship ritual. 


A formality of offering liquor to the buffalo’s spirit.


After reciting prayers to ask for the gods support for good health for buffalos,
shaman Tao Van Phong offers the buffalo sticky rice and water to show gratitude to the buffalo. 



After the ceremony, the buffalos are released into the field while its owner invites villagers to a feast. 


The ceremony shows a unique cultural trait of the Lu in Lai Chau province 

The ceremony shows a unique cultural trait of the Lu in Lai Chau province. It is also a community gathering which helps build unity among villagers. 
By Khac Kien & Ngoc Thang

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