VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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"Tinh", Musical Instrument
VME-T 47.01.02.18
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This object is one of three sacred musical instruments of Mrs. Mo Thi Kit, a Tay shaman of 86 years. She is a very well-known shaman in Binh Gia District, Lang Son province. She started learning to become a shaman when she was 18 years old. At 21 years old she became a real shaman and has remained so ever since. Mrs. Kit has many ghost soldiers, she knows many sorcerers and prays miraculously. She is known as the best “Tinh” player in her region. She plays the instrument skilfully with ten fingers. This instrument was sacred and it was used in many rituals. Before donating it to museum, she had to desacralize it in order to transfer it into a simple musical instrument. However, she wanted the “Tinh” to be respected and taken care of, because at a time it had an ancestral tablet and was a sacred object closely connected to the spirits of life of the Tay community. For all these reasons, this musical instrument is considered as a special object to our museum, and when we exhibit it, we never forget that the object was once sacred. We therefore always put it on a high place so that the visitor can see it clearly and have a sacred experience.

History of the Object
This musical instrument was collected in 1998 when some Vietnam Museum of Ethnology staff took part in a ceremony of a Tay shaman in Lang Son province . In 2003, this object was exhibited in a travelling exhibition, which was a collaboration between VME and the American Museum of Natural History.

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Type
Musical instruments 
Materials
Dry gourd, wood, plastic string 
Measurements
 
Creator name
Mrs. Nong Ngoc Le 
Creator date
1956- 
Where it was made
Vietnam; Lang Son 
Geography
Vietnam 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1988 
Function
Used in rituals of Tay people to call the Gods and the Ghosts 
Acquisition
Collected by the museum in 1998 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Lang Son province, in the North of Vietnam 
Museum
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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