At Phi Mur village, there was a giant banyan tree called M’Tam Jrê in the Ma language. The branches of the tree provide shade for the whole river wharf (called N’dram Da). According to Mr. K’Krang, the elder of Phi Mur village, this banyan tree is more than 100 years old and no one knows when this tree was planted. However, it is a common belief that the banyan tree was the embodiment of a girl named H’Drim.

Legend has it that H’Drim was a good-natured and helpful girl. One day while going to take water from the river, she got stuck in an unexpectedly big and powerful storm. H’Drim was frozen to death and later on a tree appeared in this place. She appeared in the village elders’ and others’ dreams to say that she had turned into a tree and would help the villagers to protect their water source and the river wharf so that they could be safe when taking water for God worship or serving the needs of daily life.

The tree is very sacred. Anyone taking water from the river wharf with a bad heart would suffer from constant sickness. Therefore, in the spiritual life of the villagers, H’Drim has been respected and considered a goddess. The banyan tree symbolizes the shelter and the source of life. Thus, in order to thank the goddess H’Drim for protecting villagers and bringing health, good harvests as well as preventing diseases, droughts or floods… on January 10th annually, the villagers jointly organize a river wharf worship ceremony under the banyan tree. It has become a respectful traditional cultural activity of the Ma people, attracting a lot of locals to participate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *