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Working paper

The Muong Epics of ‘The Birth of the Earth and Water’ in a Viet-Muong Comparative Perspective: An Alternative Vision of the Common Past

The paper deals with Muong epic tales included into the cycle of ‘The Birth of the Earth and Water’. These tales, which represent a type of ritual narrative performed during traditional mourning rites (Mo), are analyzed in the context of Vietnamese folk stories from a 15th century collection entitled ‘A Selection of Wondrous Tales of Linh Nam’. The comparative analysis of two bodies of narratives is used to suggest an alternative vision of the ethnic and cultural history of the Muong and the Vietnamese (Kinh).