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Forest god of Ba Na ethnic people
A ritual of forest god worship

Ba Na ethnic group lives primarily in the Central Highland provinces of Gia Lai and Kon Tum, as well as a village in Ia Jloi commune of Dak Lak’s Ea Sup district.

Like many of the other ethnic groups, Ba Nan people believe in god (Yang) which can influence their thoughts and actions.

According to Ama Juyn – a 70 year old man in Jloi commune, Ea Sup district, in the belief system of Ba Na people, the human life is arranged by the supreme twin gods of Bok Kei Dei (husband) who controls the sun and the moon and Ya Kuh Keh (wife) who control the earth. They also control the agriculture.

In the Ba Na spiritual belief, there are many other gods with specific functions created by Bok Kei Dei and Ya Kuh Keh, including the god of the forest (Yang Bri).

Each village of the ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands usually need five types of forests to become a village. The first piece of forest is a place of residence, where villagers build a communal house, live and perform ceremonies, etc. The second forest is a place where local people used to cultivate. The 3rd forest is a place where villagers come to look for wood, get honey, and collect forest fruits. The fourth piece of forest is a cemetery area, where the dead return to the forest. The fifth is the sacred forest where the gods.

Mr. Ama Juyn also said that the divided forest into five types is very important, expressing the conception of Ba Na ethnic group about the land. Each village has its own land overseen by the gods. Ba Na ethnic people affirm their ownership of the land to avoid the invasion of other villages. They use trees, streams, and rocks to mark the land of the village.

Now, the forest is no longer considered as a mystery but in the beliefs of the Ba Na people, the forest god is an intimate deity, still protecting their lives, feeding them with wild vegetables, fish, and honey.

PH

Forest god of Ba Na ethnic peopleLike many of the other ethnic groups, Ba Nan people believe in god (Yang) which can influence their thoughts and actions. According to Ama Juyn – a 70 year old man in Jloi commune, Ea Sup district, in the belief system of Ba Na people, the human life
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