|Balladeer: "Human treasure" Ha Thi Cau died yesterday, aged 85. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HA NOI (VNS)— Veteran hat xam (ballads once sung by wandering blind musicians) artist Ha Thi Cau died yesterday in her home village in Yen Mo District in the northern province of Ninh Binh, aged 85.
Cau, whose real name is Ha Thi Nam, was born in 1928 in a family which has three generations pursuing the art form. Making an acquaintance with ritual singing while still in her mother's womb, Cau accompanied her mother to performances when she was only eight years old. At 16, Cau got married to a xam master, who owned six xam troupes in Ninh Binh.
Cau contributed significantly to the art and cultural activities of Ninh Binh Province. She performed in several national festivals, winning a number of gold medals. In 1998, she received the title Xam Artist of the Ninh Binh Province at a national festival of tuong (classical drama) and cheo (traditional opera) extracts.
In 2004, she was granted the title Folk Artist by the Viet Nam Association of Folk Arts, and Meritorious Artist by the Government.
She also won the Dao Tan Awards honouring the people who have made significant contributions to the preservation of traditional art values.
A 35-minute movie about her life was presented to the public in August 2011. Entitled Xam Do (The Red Xam Singing), the movie honoured the woman who was dubbed as "a living human treasure" of the xam art form.
A homage ceremony for the veteran artist will be held today at her village, while her funeral will take place tomorrow at 9.30am at the Dam Thuan Cemetery in Yen Phong Commune, Yen Mo District, Ninh Binh Province. — VNS