In Vietnam, most choirs and troupes are familiar with the sound of drums. The drum is also a common instrument in schools, temples, pagodas, Vietnam cultural activities, and traditional rituals. Binh An – a drum-making craft village – was established to meet this need. Let’s find out more detailed about it in the Mekong Delta tour today.
Drums in festivals
Where is Binh An Drum Village?
If you have a chance to join a Mekong Delta tour for family in Long An Province, don’t forget to pay Binh An Drum Village a short visit. Located in Binh Lang Commune, it is the only craft village that produces and provide drums in Southern Vietnam. For this reason, Binh An has become an unusual tourist destination in Southwestern Vietnam in general and Long An Province in particular.
Although this place is quite new, it is gradually growing into an attractive spot for culture-vultures.
The history of making drums
Many people in the village say that it was established about 200 years ago. Therefore, the traditional handicraft has been handed down to hundreds of generations here. Most of the villagers have more than 10 years of experience in making drums. The first person who laid the foundation of the village was Mr. Nguyen Van Ty.
While he was going on field trips to do business, he saw buffalo butchers use the meat and dispose of the pieces of buffalo skin. He started collecting them, bringing them home, exposing them to the sun, and learning how to make drums himself. When he passed away, his descendants decided to follow his path. At first, they made drums for fun. But then, they began making drums to earn income.
Craftsman makes a drum
Trying a Vietnam cultural tour in Binh An Village, you can see the process of drum-making with your own eyes. Despite the simple outlook of a drum, producing it is much more complex. There are over 20 phases in total to complete it. Each of them requires the worker to be careful and meticulous in every detail.
Common materials that are used to make drums are timber and buffalo skin. The timber recommended by workers is Merawan due to its solidness and tolerability. Also, it is often utilized to build handicraft objects so no other types of wood can be better.
After the timber is thoroughly chosen, all pieces will be exposed to the sun, measured, cut, bent, and got termites handled. Then, the worker will put them together with his skillful hands, which has been trained for over 10 years.
The phase of making the drumhead is less sophisticated. However, the buffalo skin is very easy to tear off and be deformed. Hence, instead of stretching the skin, the worker will place it on a steel frame and expose it to the sun. The last step is to cautiously shave the top layer of the skin in order to make the sound of the drums louder and higher.
Binh An high-quality drums are used everywhere
The drum is an essential instrument in not only Vietnam culture but also Mekong Delta culture. You can hear the sound of drums while taking part in traditional festivals or in Lion Dance performances during Tet Holidays. It makes the shows more eventful and fantastic.
Louder sound of drums
And that is how useful Binh An drums are. They are not only durable, beautiful, and diverse in models but their sound is also louder and more melodious than that of other types of drums. Trying touching a drum and you will see how wonderfully it is made. The timber surface is super flat and smooth. The pieces of wood perfectly fit with one another, which can tactfully hide the traits left after putting them together.
The drumhead looks shiny under the sun. And when you beat it with your hand, it starts vibrating, continuously making low-pitched and high-pitched sounds.
Due to that exclusive feature, Binh An drums are famous nationally and even get exported. Today, the drum-making process in the village has been motorized with a greater number of machines. However, the spirit and refinement of the product are still excellently preserved by the professional craftsmen.
You will see how much they love their job by joining a Mekong Delta tour and observing the happiness in their eyes.