More than two decades ago, coming to Nam Nhon or Muong Te district, Lai Chau province, it was not difficult to see girls aged from 13, 14 to elderly women with tattoos on their faces. However, due to changes in social life, the number of women who have tattoos on their faces is still very small and they are also old, the number of grim reaper new tattoos is not available, leading to the risk of losing songs and verses. Stories, legends and myths related to the custom of tattooing the chin (called Ọ am in the Mang language), as well as the meaning of tattoos in the cultural life of nearly 3,500 people of the Mang ethnic group.
Having heard many stories
about the unique chin tattoo custom of the Mang, as well as the reasons why the Mang do not continue to perform this ritual, when coming to work at the Hua Bum BP Station, Lai Chau Border Guard, We went to Pa Cheo village, an area with a large number of Mang ethnic people living. Taking us down to the village, Captain Vang A Lu, deputy political officer of the Hua Bum BP station said: For a long time, the Mang people have lived in Pa Cheo and Nam Light villages, Hua Bum commune, and no one has tattooed their chin.
In the whole village, only Mrs. Tao Me Nai, born in 1942 and Mr. Lo A Trang, born in 1943, still have tattoos. Young people now have no tattoos, but at the age of 13-15, people in these two villages. often held symbolic ceremonies to mark the maturity of young girls. "Because the ritual is only a formality, the young people do not understand and memorize the stories and songs related to this custom and the risk of loss is inevitable, when the elderly understand this custom. of the Mang have returned to their ancestors," said Captain Vang A Lu.
Welcoming us in a house imbued with ethnicity
Mr. Lo A Trang, Head of Pa Cheo village was very excited when mens skull sweater he heard us ask about the origin of the unique custom of chin tattooing of his nation. He said: According to the ancestors, the tattoo on the face of the Mang woman was born from a divine story, discontented with the scene of a lazy wife who only torments and scolds her husband and gods all year round. plan for the husband to sew up his wife's mouth for family harmony. Even though the husband was very angry with his wife, he did not do it in the way of the gods, but used thorns to dot the nodules like needles and then soaked the leaves of the forest in water to form ink, and smeared it around the wife's face. Understanding the husband's sincere heart, the wife changed her mind to become a gentle wife. Since then, Mang families living in the same village as husband and wife have followed suit with the desire that their daughter-in-law and daughter can do the same.