85-year-old artisan preserves Tinh musical instrument making craft

Chia sẻ

(VOVWORLD) - At the age of 85, Emeritus Artisan Luong Thiem Phu of Binh Lieu district, Quang Ninh province, is still passionate about making Tinh musical instruments. Phu and other artisans now teach the craft to young people so they can preserve the instrument, as well as the Then singing of the local Tay ethnic people.

85-year-old artisan preserves Tinh musical instrument making craft - ảnh 185-year-old Luong Thiem Phu still makes the Tinh musical instrument. (Photo: La Nga – Binh Lieu district’s Department of Culture and Sports) 

Luong Thiem Phu fell in love with Then melodies when he was very young. He nurtured a dream of making his own Tinh musical instruments to accompany his Then singing. Phu said the Tinh of Binh Lieu is basically similar to instruments in other localities, but when it is tuned, it can produce different sounds.

“The two strings of the Tinh represent the Earth and the Sky. The upper end is normally carved with the image of birds, especially peacocks, or dragons.”

The Tinh is made from an old gourd which can produce pure sounds. The neck is made from mulberry wood. Phu can sing Then and play the Tinh skillfully.

Phu has a workshop that makes Tinhs as souvenirs for tourists. As his age advances,  it takes Phu more time, even a year, and effort to make a Tinh. Chu Dinh Thep, who works at Binh Lieu district’s Culture and Communication center, said Phu and other local artisans have worked hard to preserve, and promote the culture of Tay ethnic people.

“Phu is one of those who have crafted many Tinh musical instruments. In addition to making Tinhs for the Then singing club of Binh Lieu district, he has written many Then songs in praise of President Ho Chi Minh, and the homeland. His songs have won prizes at local and national Then singing contests,” said Thep.

In 2007, when Phu was 69 years old, he set up the Then singing and Tinh musical instrument Club. Phu has taught Then singing to more than 200 people of all ages. Duong Ngoc Khoa, head of Binh Lieu district’s Education and Communication Board, said the local Then songs, including those written by Phu, are performed widely in the locality to preserve culture and lure tourists.

“Binh Lieu district has carried out a project to preserve the culture of the Tay ethnic people to serve the development of community tourism. We are now working on another project to preserve and promote the culture of the Dao and San Chi ethnic people, including performing arts, folk music, and tangible and intangible cultural heritages like Then singing and playing the Tinh,” said Khoa.

In 2019, for his contribution to preserving cultural heritage, Luong Thiem Phu was awarded the title Emeritus Artisan by the President of Vietnam.