(HBO)- Ai Village, Phong Phu commune (Tan Lac) is a small valley with hills, cliffs surrounding with cloud, mountainous wind through the trees. The village has Ai stream, which is fresh and pure flowing around Ai village. There are a lot of caves in the mountain sides surrounding Ai village.
The Bat Cave: is a famous and beautiful cave but so strange. The Ghost Cave: the achaeologists have climbed the cliffs to come into the Ghost Cave for excavating and researching the relics from ancient times which are scattered in the deep cave. About 100 years ago, Ai village people increased their lives sharply. The living conditions also changed. The people of Ai village moved to live on the foot of the valley with the large vast of green trees covering the mountain, hillsides and the fresh Ai river flowing all around in a year.
The people of Ai village have built more than 50 traditional stilt houses of Muong ethnic people. All the 5 bronze drums of the large kind were found in Ai village. According to the opinion of an Austrian scholar Hergie about Vietnamese and Southeast Asian bronze drums, those found in Ai village and Ly village are the earliest drums, which may belong to the first century BC.
In more than 50 stilt houses in Ai village, some of them were built of precious and rare wood. The pillars, beams, walls, doors, floors and stairs were sawed in the shape of square or circle, being polished and painted. The roof is smooth with large and airy space. The houses are divided into the spaces of spiritual relics, culture and living space for the members of the family.
Some families sent their descendants to go and learn in some well-developed areas of economy, culture and tourism. When they came back to the village, with their families, they have built spacious and beautiful traditional stilt houses. These are the stilt houses used to welcome the visitors to Ai village.
The house is divided into three space types: The resort space is equipped with blankets, pillow cushions and cooling equipment for tourists to relax. The second space is the space to enjoy local specialities, such as lam rice, steamed sticky rice, day cakes, buffallo meat with lom leaves, mixed vegetables, sour pork, buffallo skins, dried cow skins with bon plants, chickens with sour bamboo shots, roasted pork, boiled pork, cinnamon rolls of pork, grilled pork ribs, pork rolls, fished salted with bulbous, super-rice wine, honey wine, pipe wine.
The house owners prepare a lot of specialities of Muong ethnic people and some other kinds of good food, with beer and soft drinks. Whenever the visitors order the food, the owner will say yes softly and then politely prepare and take the food and wine to them.
After enjoying the local specialities, if the tourists want to explore and learn about the ethnical culture, the lady owners will eagerly ask them to the large stilt house (the cultural house) to enjoy the wonderful art performance by the semi-professional group of Ai village.
The art performance usually starts with a orchestra performance, gong performance (the sacred treasure). With the piece of music "Di duong nhip nhang – the harmonious walk”, it is so melodious and trilling deeply into the listeners’ heart. The piece of music "Bong trang bong vang – White rice yellow rice” is so exciting and happy. After that, the orchestra performance will be performed with traditional ancient music, such as water- flowing, money and selling vases with the musical instrument like ho, two- chord fiddle, three-cord fiddle, vertical flute, horizontal flute, gongs, drums, cymbals and beats. The solo performance of horizontal flute, vertical flute, female duet and traditional folk dance; bronze drum dance, grinding rice dance, flowery dance, money wishing dance, betel inviting dance, etc.
If the tourists are interested in understanding and exploring more about the scenery, environment and origin – spirit of Muong ethnic people in Ai village, Phong Phu commune, Muong Bi, please stay for more days. The elder people here will tell you the origin of the ancient Muong ethnic and Muong ethnic people in Ai village now. The village will assign someone to take the tourists to go sightseeing around Ai village. The mountains surrounding Ai village runs along two sides of the narrow valley with a pure stream flowing all around the year. The terraced fields and majestic mountains make this place so interesting.
The people here are so honest, hard – working, industrious and hospitable. They are full expectation of preserving and developing the first cradle of Muong ethnic people.
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