Submitted by VNA on

 The Raglai people in Khanh Son district in the western reaches of Khanh Hoa province have been proud of their age-old lithophones for thousands of years.

Khanh Son district features mountains hundreds of meters above sea level, that are home to the Raglai people and their distinctive cultural values.

Archaeologists found a set of ancient lithophones in the local area in 1947. The musical instrument has been identified as among the oldest of humankind.

The lithophones reveal the musical sense and creativity of prehistoric people. They are made from slate, granite, and other stone, with slabs of different sizes producing strong, light, deep, or soft sounds. 

It is believed that, lithophones were originally made primarily to chase away wild beasts, and protect people’s homes and crops, and only later became a form of entertainment. People also believe that, the lithophones can connect yin and yang, humans and genies, and the present and the past.

In order to revive such a special musical instrument, Khanh Hoa province has restored three sets of Raglai lithophones. It has also organised several exhibitions, displaying the instrument and opened classes, to train local people how to play them.

The sound of the lithophone is sometimes as deep as the forest, sometimes as gentle as a brook, and can express the feelings of the player and the state of their soul.