“Mo” in ancient Vietnamese village life

The emergence of the profession of “pleading”

There is no document about the birth of the fishing profession as well as ancient administrative documents regulating the functions of village fishing boats.

In Past and Present Magazine No. 2 (12) February 1995, two language researchers Nguyen Van Su and Nguyen Xuan Dien said: “There are two important documents. helping to determine the birth of this character is Hong Duc Quoc Am Thi Tap and the ancient Cheo play Quan Am Thi Kinh. In the appendix of Hong Duc Quoc Am Thi Tap, there is the song “Tong Mo…” in Quan Am Thi Kinh. Dop’s mother is his wife. This opera has been confirmed to have been born in the 15th century.” That allows us to confirm that the profession of “mu” existed long before it was introduced into literature as a place for the masses to express their reflections. their desires. And the fishing profession is often associated with village communal houses.

Through surveys of many researchers on village culture Traditional Vietnam  most Vietnamese villages in the Northern Delta and Northern Midlands, except for newly established or very poor villages, have people selling money.

What they all have in common is that they are “residents”. In the past, residents were often looked down upon in village communities.

To become a “main resident” resident, at least two things must be satisfied. Conditions: have lived for at least 3-5 generations and have some real estate.

The second condition may be due to the characteristics of the commune small farmers’ association where private ownership of a small piece of land for cultivation is a satisfaction of human conditions. Is the first condition the self-defense instinct of each community against limited arable land and always facing population pressure?

Those who come to live have to endure a low status, the villagers despise them, they have to build houses at the edge of the village, they are not allowed to enter the communal house, they are not allowed to participate in village affairs, they are not allowed to enjoy public fields, and they live by working as hired laborers…

At the time of its birth, it can be affirmed that villages had organizational stability and only had village mines, not districts or hamlets…

Motor position

The man who peddles the tram, often scorned as the “man of the tram,” has played an important role in Vietnamese oral information over the centuries. The person who calls the rattan often holds a rattle made of dry bamboo and a bamboo stick in his hand, knocks for everyone to hear, then raises his voice to tell everyone the news or the king’s orders or things he wants to announce.

The broker is a “centipede” in the old information system and is different from the owner’s tenant farmers. Mõ is not just anyone’s Mõ is  of  the whole village. Mining is service labor, not production labor, so it has nothing much or direct relationship with fields and labor tools.

Mõ stays out of disputes between factions in the village. Mõ is close to the official so he knows clearly the content of disputes between individuals or families but does not support any faction. Mõ has no negative behavior in community life.

Ma is despised by the villagers, but no one hates it like thieves or tyrants. Children of the Mõ were born without the right to go to school. When they got married, they could only marry children of the Mõ family and invisibly, the “mõ profession” became hereditary. When the village has a cult, the whole Mo family is mobilized to do “village work” when dividing the shares, the villagers also give Mo a separate meal, and if he can’t finish it all, he brings it home…

“The profession of miner” and the miner is probably a very unique feature of ancient Vietnamese villages and it was also a special job in the feudal social organization.

VNH K08 Quang Nam University