Village elder Ho Manh arranges five ceramic bowls, representing the five people in his family, close to the roof of his stilt house. The eldest in a family leads ceremonies to worship the souls of all family members, praying for good health, safety, and fortune.

The Bru Van Kieu ethnics believe such rituals are necessary, as each individual has a soul and a patron god who accompanies them from the day they are born until the day they die.

Local resident Ho May said the soul worshipping ritual is held to respect one’s self and to ask people to be responsible for their families and the whole village. It also acts as a reminder about working hard and promoting solidarity with others in the village.

A soul worshipping ceremony is held many times throughout the life of every Bru Van Kieu person, when they are born, become sick, or grow old. It is among many ancient customs and traditions that have been preserved by the ethnic group, who live along the Truong Son Mountain Range./.