Y Thim Byă has become the largest collector of gongs and jars and the first person to open a private cultural museum in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

After 20 years of collecting, Y Thim Byă now owns 30 Tuk and Tang jars, 18 sets of ancient gongs with over 300 gongs from the ethnic minority groups of Gia Rai, E De and M’Nong, dozens of Kpan chairs (chair of master of the house) and hundreds of artifacts such as bowls, cups and bracelets.

“The number of his ancient gongs is more than that of the people in Ea Bong village”, said Y Than Nie K’, the village’s patriarch.

Inspired by a set of ancient gongs thrown away by a local, Y Thim Byă felt sad and decided to buy them back. Since then, he has travelled many places to buy back Kpan and Jhong chairs, gongs, jars and other old musical instruments.

At present, his house in Ea Bong village, Buon Ma Thuot city has become a popular destination for tourists who want to explore the Central Highlands region’s culture.

Y Thim Byă added that he is continuing to build another house, with a total investment of 300 million VND to finish off his cultural museum.

He has also set up a gongs team to perform at traditional festivals and community cultural activities such as buffalo sacrificing festival and new rice festivals.

Apart from collecting ancient objects, Y Thim Byă has also made many kinds of traditional musical instruments such as Kram gongs, T’rung, Pah, Buot, Tak Tar, horn. He has also taught young people how to use these instruments, thereby helping to maintain and develop the special cultural values unique to the Central Highlands people./.