Vietnam: The “xain sub kher” ceremony of Taidam people

This photo shows the “Xain sub kher” Taidam’s ceremony at my home. In Taidam language, this name means 'to drive away catastrophe.'

According to Taidam belief, after a member of family dies and moves to live with our forefathers, they often give back the reasons for their death to their close relatives. In my story, some older people said that my dead uncle had shared his fatal disease with my father. Since we became aware of this problem, my mother asked a powwow to celebrate a “xain sub kher” ceremony for ridding my father from this catastrophe and misfortune.

Firstly, we prepared a mock-up of a funeral with many offerings such as rice, fish, clothes, as well as a model of a coffin. Next, the dead body was replaced by an effigy made out of clay. After everything was ready, the powwow did a prolonged speech for 7-8 hours about all the dangers, the cause of the former’s death and asked for forgiveness.  At the end, my brother-in-law took the coffin to inter it, similar to a common funeral.

Thanks to this ceremony, all members of my family have been well and we relieved my father of his run of bad luck. So far, we believe the forefathers have blessed him with good health.


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The "xain sub kher" ceremony of Taidam people
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Date: 17/10/2012




Indigenous Peoples
Religion/Religious minorities

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