According to Village Elder from Bac Tra My district of the province Hồ Văn Nghĩa, Cor villagers would prepare the ceremony praying for the rain for the good development of the seed sown after harvesting the previous crop.
The suitable day and offerings for the ceremony is discussed and agreed by the village’s elders, shaman and all villagers that depend on drought situation in each year. The rain praying ritual is held in the central courtyard of the village where a pole is set up.
The offerings must include a cooked cock, water, betel, areca, alcohol, cake, among others. A dried hedgehog or squirrel and cassava - the main agricultural product of Cor people is also indispensable.
Before the rain praying ritual, all people take part in a worship rite dedicating to land and water gods led by the village’s shaman. The rain praying ritual is held at noon and presided by the village’s four most prestigious elders dressed in traditional costumes.
Later, the ritual is followed by a service in the courtyard. The head of village plays the role as a master of the ceremony and leads a delegation of villagers to go round the pole with offerings to pray for rain, protection and favorable conditions for bumper crops, happiness and prosperity.
Four most prestigious elders in traditional costumes perform offerings ritual
The ceremony also includes cultural activities and folk games. During the event praying for the rain, Cor boys with drum and gongs and girls with traditional custom and colorful jewelry usually join in a dance featuring the action of sowing rice seeds in the field.
The rain praying ceremony is considered as the most important and long-standing agricultural event of Cor people in Quang Nam province, and a chance for strengthening unity amongst Cor locals. Through the rain praying ceremony, many other cultural values of the Cor group are also preserved and promoted, including the art of gong, drum and flute performances, folk songs, folk sculptures and food art, etc.