Lithophone or Dan Da

The litho phone is a set of stone slabs of different sizes and shapes fabricated through an elementary technique. These stones are available in the mountainous areas south of Central Viet Nam and east of South Viet Nam.


     Examination of the stone slabs found at Binh Da archaeological site in Dong Nai Province has revealed that this instrument may have existed for over 3,000 years.

     At the end of the 1980s, 200 litho phone stone alsbs had been discovered in Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Dong Nai, Ninh Thuan, Binh Duong, Lam Dong, and Phu Yen provinces. Each set is comprised of between 3 and 15 bars. The first set, discovered at Ndut Lieng Krak in Dak Lak Province in 1949, is now kept in a French Museum. Most of the other sets are exhibited throughout Viet Nam.

     For some ethnic groups in the central Highlands, the stone slabs are sacred and preserved as family treasures played during grand ceremonies for the gods. For others, the stone slabs are used for setting up crop-protection devices.

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