Veteran “xam” (ballads once sung by wandering blind musicians) artist Ha Thi Cau died at her home village in Yen Mo district, the northern province of Ninh Binh, on March 3, at the age of 85.

Cau, whose real name is Ha Thi Nam , was born in 1928 in a family which has three generations pursuing the art form. Making an acquaintance with “xam” singing while still in her mother’s womb, Cau accompanied her mother to performances when she was only eight years old. At 16, Cau got married to a “xam” master, who owned six “xam” troupes in Ninh Binh.

Cau contributed significantly to the art and cultural activities of Ninh Binh province. She performed in several national festivals, winning a number of gold medals. In 1998, she received the title Xam Artist awarded by Ninh Binh province.

In 2004, she was granted the titles Folk Artist by the Vietnam Association of Folk Arts, and Meritorious Artist by the Government.

She also won the Dao Tan Awards honouring the people who have made significant contributions to the preservation of traditional art values.

A 35-minute movie about her life was presented to the public in August 2011. Entitled Xam Do (The Red Xam Singing), the movie honoured the woman who was dubbed as “a living human treasure” of the “xam” art form.

A homage ceremony for the veteran artist will be held on March 4 at her village, while her funeral will take place the next day at 9.30am at the Dam Thuan Cemetery in Yen Phong commune, Yen Mo district, Ninh Binh province.-VNA