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VIETNAM ACADEMY OF
SOCIAL SCIENCE
INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

NGUYEN THE ANH

LIVELIHOODS OF MUONG PEOPLE IN
CAM LUONG COMMUNE, CAM THUY
DISTRICT, THANH HOA PROVINCE TODAY
Speciality: Anthropology
Reference: 9 31 03 02

ANTHROPOLOGY DOCTORAL THESIS

HANOI - 2019


The work has been completed at:
INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

Science Instructor: 1. Assoc.Plof. Dr. Bui Xuan Dinh

2. Assoc. Plof. Dr. Tran Van Thuc
Reviewer 1: Plof. Dr. Nguyen Chi Ben

Reviewer 2: Assoc. Plof. Dr. Khong Dien

Reviewer 3: Assoc. Plof. Dr. Bui Van Dao

The thesis is defense against the Doctoral Thesis
Council, held at the Institute of Social Science
At …:.., date .../.../2019

The thesis can be found at:
National Library
Institute of Social Science Library


LIST OF PUBLISHED WORKS OF THE AUTHOR
RELATED TO THE THESIS
1.

Nguyen The Anh (2015),“ Belief of snake gods worshiping of
Muong people in Luong Ngoc village, Cam Luong commune, Cam
Thuy district, Thanh Hoa province”, Art and Culture Review, (367),
page 23- 26.

2.

Nguyen The Anh (2016), “Livelihood and cultural development
issues of Muong people in Cam Luong”, Art and Culture Review,
page 31-34.

3.

Nguyen The Anh (2016),“ Impact of tourism on the life of
Muong people in Thanh Hoa (case study of Cam Luong
commune, Cam Thuy district)”, Human Resources and Social
Sciences Review page 107-114.

4.

Nguyen The Anh (2016), “Impact of Program 135 on the livelihood
of Muong people in Cam Thuy district, Thanh Hoa province”, Social
Science Information Review, No 406, page 42-48.

5.

Nguyen The Anh (2018), “Impact of population and ethnic
factors on the livelihood of Muong people in Thanh Hoa”, Art
and Culture Review, No 406, page 14-18.


INTRODUCTION
1. The emergency of the topic
1.1. Livelihoods (means of living) of resident communities and
ethnic groups are familiar topics of Ethnology/Anthropology.
Livelihoods show human’s adaptation to the living environment;
reflect the social relations in production; are the basis for forming the
customs, beliefs, psychology, and personality of the resident
community. Livelihood is a top important factor of ethnic culture.
Livelihood research plays an important role in studying ethnic groups
and resident communities.
1.2. The mountain valleys in Son La, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh and
Thanh Hoa provinces, where the Muong people live, have a very
diverse topography, so their livelihoods are very distinctly different,
and should be studied in order to see the diversity of livelihoods as
well as ethnic culture.
Cam Luong is one of the highland communes of Cam Thuy
district, Thanh Hoa province, where Muong people, who have been
living for a long time, making a living mainly by cultivating rice
fields, are the majority. Since the implementation of Doi Moi, thanks
to the policies of the Party and the State, thanks to the acquisition of
scientific and technical advances, livelihoods of Muong people here
have changed drastically, especially, they have gradually integrated
into tourist activities. Cam Luong commune with the famous Fish
Stream, located in the community tourism development area in the
mountainous districts in the west of Thanh Hoa province, has been
zoned. However, the process of changing the livelihoods of the
people as well as the development zoning by the authority branches
and levels in Thanh Hoa province, Cam Thuy districts are posing
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many problems to be addressed. Studying the livelihoods of Muong
people in Cam Luong commune is to not only understands Muong
cultural characteristics but also create a scientific basis to devise
solutions to help people develop towards sustainability.
With the above scientific and practical significance, I choose the
topic of the Livelihoods of Muong people in Cam Luong commune,
Cam Thuy district, Thanh Hoa province today to make this
Anthropology Doctoral Thesis.
2. Research purposes and missions
2.1. Research purposes of the thesis
- To clarify the current livelihood status of Muong people in the
research area, on the basis of comparison with traditional livelihoods;
- To identify the issues that are posed to the livelihoods of
Muong people in Cam Luong commune now in relation to
sustainable development; to create a scientific basis for the
formulation of socio-economic development plans of Muong and
local people.
2.2. Research mission
- To collect materials related to the current livelihood activities
of Muong people in Cam Luong commune, including agriculture,
handicrafts, types of services.
- To interpret the aspects related to current livelihood activities
of Muong people in the study area. These are the forms of livelihoods
(agriculture, handicraft, trade - service) associated with the livelihood
capital, the factors affecting livelihoods and the impact of livelihoods
on life aspects of Muong people.
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- To state some issues raised for the current livelihood of Muong
people in Cam Luong commune, creating a scientific basis for the
Party Committee and local authorities to consult in proposing socioeconomic development solutions towards sustainability in terms of
market economy development, industrialization, modernization and
integration.
3. Research objects and scope
3.1. Research objects
The research object of the thesis is the current forms of
livelihood associated with the living environment of Muong people in
Cam Luong commune, as mentioned in 2, section 2. 2 above.
3.2. Research scope
The thesis researches in villages of Cam Luong commune, in
which, two villages have been focused on researching more is Luong
Thuan - the village which has many positive and outstanding changes
in crop and village restructuring, and Luong Ngoc - the place with a
famous Fish Stream, which has shifted to tourist services for many
years.
The thesis researches livelihoods of Muong people today;
materials and data on livelihoods collected mainly in the years of
2015 - 2018.
4. Methodology and research methods
4.1. Methodology
The thesis studies the current livelihoods of Muong people in
Cam Luong commune based on the theoretical basis of dialectic of
historical materialism with the main content: when considering any
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thing, phenomena, all must be placed in relation to other factors.
Current livelihood research is placed in dialectical relationships with
factors of natural environment, social institutions, cultural
characteristics, historical conditions of residents, policies of the State;
placing current livelihood in relation to traditional livelihoods ...
The thesis uses the approach of two theories which is the theory
of sustainable livelihoods and the theory of cultural change.
4.2. Research methods
The thesis uses the method of document review and secondary
information and document collection; interdisciplinary research
method; method of studying household economic history, consulting
experts, in which Ethnographic fieldwork is the main method, with
familiar operations
To clarify the aspects related to the current livelihood of Muong
people in the study area, the thesis uses analytical, interpretations,
statistical and comparison methods. The thesis focuses on using the
Anthropological/Ethnological approach; Cultural approach and
system approach.
5. New contributions of the thesis
The thesis is the first study on current livelihoods of Muong
people in Cam Luong commune; clarifying the current livelihood
situation of people in comparison with traditional factors, the
relationship between livelihoods and natural, social and cultural
conditions
The thesis presents scientific arguments for the Party
Committee, authorities of Cam Luong commune, related departments
in Cam Thuy district and Thanh Hoa province to propose policies and
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solutions to help Muong people develop their potentials, strength,
overcome the limitations and weaknesses of current livelihood
activities, especially the development of tourism in the Fish Stream
area, for Cam Luong commune to develop economy and society
towards sustainability.
6. The theoretical and practical significance of the thesis
The thesis contributes materials to theorical and practical study
of livelihoods in general and the livelihoods of Muong people in
particular, supporting research and teaching on this topic; at the same
time, creates a scientific basis for the Party Committee and
authorities of Cam Luong commune, related departments in Thanh
Hoa and Cam Thuy district, to propose solutions to help Muong
people in Cam Luong commune develop in a sustainable way.
7. Structure of the thesis
Besides Introduction, Conclusion, Reference, the thesis content is
divided into 4 chapters:

Chapter 1. Overview of research situation, theoretical basis and
introduction of Muong people in the research area
Chapter 2. Livelihood activities of producing and exploiting
natural products
Chapter 3. Service activities
Chapter 4. Some discussions from the current livelihood
research of Muong people in Cam Luong commune.

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Chapter 1
OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH SITUATION,
THEORETICAL BASIS AND INTRODUCTION OF
MUONG PEOPLE IN THE RESEARCH AREA
1.1. Overview of research situation
1.1.1. Studies on livelihoods of ethnic groups
Livelihoods have been studied by foreign scholars, typically
V.D.Blavaski - A.V.Nikitin, N.N.Tsebocsarop, G.G.Gromop and IU.F.
Novichkop, Emily A. Schultz and Robert H. Lavenda, mainly in the
agricultural field.
In Vietnam, the ethnicity's livelihoods are presented in Ethnology
monographs, specialized books, scientific topics at all levels, doctoral
thesis, on the Anthropology Review. Most of the works focused on
traditional livelihoods, including agriculture, handicrafts, trade and
exploitation of natural products.
In 20 recent years, Ethnography/Anthropology has had many studies
on the changes of traditional livelihoods of ethnic groups in the context of
innovation; changes of livelihoods of ethnic minorities under the impact of
hydropower projects.
1.1.2. Research on Muong people and livelihood activities of Muong
people
Muong people, Muong culture and Muong people's livelihoods are
mentioned in studies by Jeane Cuisinier, Bui Van Ky, Nguyen Duong Binh,
Nguyen Tu Chi, Nguyen Ngoc Thanh and Nguyen Thi Thanh Nga, Quach
Thi Oanh, Tran Dang Tuan, Luong Thu Hang ... The livelihood topics
presented are paddy fields, upland fields agriculture, handicrafts, gathering,
hunting, fishing, ownership, management and usage of land; livelihood
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changes in the context of market mechanisms, hydropowerization;
livelihood of young people ...
Muong people and the Muong people's livelihoods in Thanh Hoa
province were studied through the works of Vuong Anh, Hoang Anh Nhan,
Cao Son Hai, Ngo Hoai Chung, Minh Hieu, Mai Van Tung, Trinh Hong Le,
and in the Thanh Hoa Monography, some monographys of the districts…
Muong people in Cam Luong commune are mentioned in the
graduation thesis by Pham Thi Ly on poverty and poverty reduction
solutions; the thesis Mương Livelihoods and the Role of Education in Their
Development: A case study of a Mương Community in CamThuy District,
Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam by Nguyen, Viet Duc defense at Victoria
University (Welliinton, Newzeeland), 2013, referring to the livelihood and
its impact on the education of the Muong community in this district.
In general, until now, research works on Muong people and Muong
people's livelihoods in Thanh Hoa are not many. This thesis hopes to
overcome the above limitation.
1.2. The theoretical basis of the thesis
1.2.1. Basic concepts
The thesis presents the origins and intents of the concepts used:
"Livelihoods", "Traditional livelihoods", "Current livelihoods", "Livelihood
resources", "Sustainable livelihoods", "Sustainable Development".
1.2.2. Theoretical basis
Theory of livelihoods and sustainable livelihood framework
The theory of DFID sustainable livelihood framework or livelihood
approach under the sustainable livelihood framework presented in the
studies of Chambers and Conway, Scoones ... has been used widely until
now in research on the relationship between livelihoods and poverty. This
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analytical framework divides the capital people use to earn livelihoods into
five types of capital assets or capital forms, which are natural capital,
physical capital, financial capital, social capital, human capital.
The thesis also applies the theory of cultural change to explain the
problems of livelihood of Muong people today.
1.3. Introduction of Muong people in the research area
1.3.1. A few points about Cam Luong commune
The thesis introduces Cam Luong commune on the following aspects:
geographic location, traffic, natural conditions (topography, climate,
hydrology (rivers, streams, especially "Divine Fish Stream"), land types area,
assesses the pros and cons of the above factors with livelihoods. In general,
before 2005, when the suspension bridge over the Ma River was not yet built,
Cam Luong commune was "isolated" with other communes in the area,
especially in the rainy season, three sides bordering forests and mountains, the
remaining side are separated from Ma River, which makes them facing many
difficulties and disadvantages in socio-economic development.
1.3.2. Muong people in Cam Luong commune
After introducing the population and ethnic composition of Cam
Luong commune, the thesis presents main features of Muong people - the
major population in the commune, such as origin, distribution and social
characteristics (institution of family, lineages, traditional Muong
institutions) and traditional culture (beliefs, customs, holidays), in relation
with the administrative geography and administrative organization of the
commune and in comparison with Muong people in Hoa Binh.
End of Chapter 1.

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Chapter 2
LIVELIHOOD ACTIVITIES OF PRODUCING
AND EXPLOITING NATURAL PRODUCTS

2.1. Capital sources for livelihood activities of production and
natural product exploitation
The thesis analyzes five capital sources related to livelihood
activities of production and natural products exploitation of Muong
people in Cam Luong commune, including natural capital (section
2.1.1), physical capital (section 2.1.2 .), financial capital (section 2.1.3.),
social capital (section 2.1.4.) and human capital (2.1.5.) in relation to
natural conditions, infrastructure, social institutions and social
relationships, human characteristics.
2.2. Agriculture

Agriculture is the main livelihood activity of Muong people in
Cam Luong commune in the past, in which cultivation is the largest part,
animal husbandry accounts for a small proportion and depends on
cultivation. Today, cultivation has changed drastically. High-yield plant
varieties are put into cultivation, especially sugarcane in Luong Thuan
and Luong Hoa villages, some gardening models are effective.
Cultivation techniques also have changes in soil preparation, caring and
harvesting stages, thanks to soil preparation machines, harvester, and
chemical fertilizers. As a result, food security is ensured and redundant,
the income value of agriculture on one hectare of growing is constantly
increasing. However, effective cultivation models are not many and
have not been replicated.
Animal husbandry (cattle and poultry) has changes in structure and
increase in the number of livestock types, farms which combines
husbandry and cultivation has appeared.
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2.3. Forestry and exploitation of natural products
In the past, forest occuppies a very large area of the total forestry
land area of Cam Luong commune; the population is also small so the
forest brings many benefits. However, due to indiscriminate
exploitation, the forest is constantly depleted, natural resources profit
from the forest declined.
From 1993 onwards, the Afforestation Program (Program 327) was
implemented in Cam Luong commune, followed by Project 661 (planting
5 million hectares of new forest since 1998). However, over 20 years, the
forestry development of the people is still natural, following the crowd.
The main crops are types of bamboo plants and eucalyptus; there are no
key trees with high economic value. The way of taking care of the forest
is also very natural. Income from forest does not constitute a significant
source of income for most families.
2.4. Handicrafts and working as workers in companies
The two main traditional handicrafts of Muong people are knitting
and weaving, serving the requirements of family life. Today, knitting is
reduced, due to plastic substitutes. Some families have developed
crossbows, plows making, chopsticks chopping, art baskets weaving
jobs... to serve tourists in the area of Fish Stream. Textile industry has
been eroded since the early 1990s, when there are alternative industrial
fabrics. In general, handicrafts do not develop, due to unfavorable
natural conditions, residents are accustomed to living on agriculture and
forest and mountain products exploitation, the market of handicraft
products is very limited.
From 2005 onwards, Muong young and middle-aged people learn
carpentry and construction craft, forming top carpenters and builders for
10


works; a large number of young workers work in industrial parks; some
well-off people register for labor export.
End of Chapter 2.

Chapter 3
SERVICE ACTIVITIES

3.1. Capital sources for service activities
The thesis re-considers the natural and social conditions affecting
the creation of capital for service activities (natural capital, physical
capital, financial capital, social capital and human capital), to serve as
a basis for analyzing service activities of Muong people today.
3.2. Overview of service activities in Cam Luong commune
today
The thesis provides statistics on the number of households doing
services in Cam Luong commune in 2017, thereby giving some
comments:
- The number of households participating in service activities is too
small, only 64/769 households of the whole commune (equal to 0.82%);
reflecting the economic slowdown in general, the underdevelopment of
service activities in particular in each village as well as in Cam Luong
commune.
- In the commune, there is no facility providing supplies and
materials for agricultural production, though Cam Luong is a purely
agricultural commune.
- Service facilities are concentrated in Luong Ngoc village (40/64
facilities, equal to 62.5%), only formed in 2005 and are vibrant for over
11


recent 10 years when the Fish Stream here are widely advertised on the
mass media.
The underlying cause of this situation is that due to natural
conditions, Cam Luong commune from 2005 backwards was like an
isolated "oasis", separated by the Da River in the East and the mountain
ranges on the remaining sides. This condition makes Muong people
create a high self-sufficient economy and lifestyle, especially in the
rainy season. Only when the suspension bridge to the commune was
build (in 2005) and the road on the side of the Bo Mountain was opened
(in 2009), the isolation of the commune was deleted, but then, the
business and service facilities in Cam Thanh commune adjacent was
stable; Cam Luong people opening services are the "lately born", which
is very difficult to compete. The low economy from many generations
makes the purchasing power of Cam Luong residents limited, so many
people do not dare to open shops. In addition, people often buy on
account, leading to capital intensive, making the shop to be closed.
It can be said that up to now, after over 30 years of developing the
market economy, but the service activities in Cam Luong commune are
very poor, not only for Muong people, but also for Viet people, and
these activities are focused only in Luong Ngoc village, associated with
tourism in the Fish Stream area.
3.3. Tourist service activities in Cam Luong Fish Stream
3.3.1. Objective premises for the formation of tourist services
activities and Fish Stream Tourist Resorts
The premise for the formation of tourist service activities is the
innovation in awareness of economic development, economic
restructuring, focusing on trade and service development, especially
tourism, which are affirmed step by step through the National Party
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Congresses, applied and concretized by localities to their conditions. In
Cam Luong commune, tourism was formed when the "Divine Fish
Stream" in Luong Ngoc village was introduced on VTV3 of Vietnam
Television and gradually expanded.
3.3.2. First forms of tourist services
The first forms of tourist services carried out by Muong people in
Luong Ngoc village are carrying passengers across the Ma River by
ferry. Their remuneration is very low, because all revenues from
passengers are managed by the Commune People's Committee. The
ferry service ended in September 2005, when the suspension bridge over
the Ma River in Kim Mam village was completed.
Aside from carrying boats, there is also a "motorbike taxi" service,
bringing passengers from the wharf (from September 2005 changes to
the suspension bridge) to the Fish Stream area. This service ended in
2016, when Cam Thuy District Transport Enterprise put 12-seat electric
vehicles carrying passenger from suspension bridge to service.
In the Fish Stream area, there are car and motorbike parking
services, from spontaneous families, to the formation of a parking lot
managed by the Commune People's Committee, and from 2008, by the
District Transport Enterprise. Besides, the services of selling soft drinks,
temporary food, souvenirs ... are increasing, both in terms of participants
and forms of services. In 2007, Cam Luong Fish Stream Tourist Area
was formed and since has been increasingly expanded.
3.3.3. Types of tourist services in the area of Cam Luong Fish
Stream area
After more than 10 years, especially in recent years, tourist
activities in the area of Fish Stream have been put into order. The
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increasing number of tourists facilitates the Muong people here to
participate in various forms of services. They gradually grasp the rules
of the "climax" periods of tourists coming (Lunar New Year holidays,
summer months, 3-4-day holidays, Saturdays, Sundays), the absence of
guests occasions (the rainy season, weekdays, from the second half of
December in Lunar year...) to adjust the storage of goods to serve
visitors close to real demand, to increase income, minimize excess of
goods, unmarketable goods or lack of goods.
Tourist services in the center of Fish Stream are organized in the
following forms:
- Family and inter-family (mainly siblings) open shops, stalls on
residential land or on the garden land along the roadside to the Fish
Stream; villagers (usually relatives) rent land to open shops. The
majority of stalls and shops sell general business products, in which
there are some staples.
- Single services of individuals: retailing and peddling goods,
mainly agricultural products, such as baked corn, boiled corn, baked rice
stuff in bamboo tube...) in tourist areas. People in adjacent communes
often sell vegetables, meat and fish.
- Collective and group services, and their products: with the sole
form of Luong Ngoc Village Photography Club, established in 2014.
Products associated with types of tourist services are quite diverse,
including:
- Foods and drinks
- Products that are both utensils and souvenirs, which are mainly
brocade, plow, chopsticks.

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- Traditional utensils which are newly produced such as crossbows,
plows (fine art), old household items (copper pots, copper gongs) are
mainly used as souvenirs.
- Products exploited from the wild such as orchids, ornamental
birds, crops of food value (Dioscorea hamiltonii), food (vegetables,
mushrooms ...), types of plants and roots used as medicine...
- Cultivated products including specialty rice, processed food
products (baked rice stuffed in bamboo tube, baked corn, boiled corn),
banana used to soak in alcohol; or livestock products (pork, fish, ducks) ...
- Products that newly appear are art stones or feng shui stones, planted
orchids, discs - video tapes or artwork photos (large format) on Cam Luong
Fish Stream area, types of photo frames, house on stilts model...
- Cave tour guide service, organized by some of young people.
End of Chapter 3.
Chapter 4
SOME DISCUSSIONS
FROM THE CURRENT LIVELIHOOD RESEARCH
OF MUONG PEOPLE IN CAM LUONG COMMUNE

4.1. Assessment of livelihood changes of Muong people in Cam
Luong commune
4.1.1. Positive, effective aspects
After more than 30 years of implementing Renovation and socioeconomic development, so far, the livelihood of Muong people in Cam
Luong commune has changed fundamentally, which is most clearly
shown in the economic structure changes:
- Change in the structure of economic sectors: from an "aggregate"
economy based on water field and upland field agriculture combined
with natural products exploitation and family handicrafts to an economy
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with key sector. Agriculture gradually declines, handicrafts and services
gradually increase. Especially, service activities in the Fish Stream area
are new activities, which Muong people take up and gradually adapt to,
creating a significant source of income for the residents of Luong Ngoc
village and a part of the residents of other villages. The formation and
expansion of forms of service stimulated the development of agriculture
(consumption of agricultural products is easier, faster, local sale doubles
the value). A quantity of sugarcane in the villages; together with
products such as bananas, pineapples, peanuts ... are purchased to serve
the Fish Stream tourist area, making the income of both growers and
collectors increased.
- Significant change in the structure of agricultural production - the
most important economic component, in the direction of reducing the
proportion of cultivation, increasing the proportion of animal husbandry
and animal husbandry is no longer too dependent on cultivation; in
cultivation the area of rice cultivation is reduced.
- Change in the structure of crops and livestock of agricultural
production: crops and animals with high productivity, good product
quality and high economic value are put into planting and raising, like
corn, rice, sugarcane varieties, chicken, buffalo, cross-bred cow, goat ...
- Increase in the goods value of crops and livestock products.
- Revenues from tourist service activities are relatively high and
more stable than agricultural production.
2. Economic thinking changes. A majority of households focus on
cultivation and animal husbandry to create commodity products for the
market. Many households currently do not work in agriculture but rent
out their fields and switch to service business. Not only in Luong Ngoc
village - where there are vibrant service activities, but also in other
16


villages, there are a large number of household heads who are no longer
"sticking to the middle of the village", but have formed consciousness to
move out to roadside for production and business; roadside land is
increasingly valuable, especially in Luong Ngoc village. The
phenomenon of renting out land in this village, especially roadside land,
in the area of Fish Stream area, which appeared a few years ago, tends to
increase. Even siblings have to rent each other's land, because this
creates a certain source of revenue. Many old people also want to
participate in service activities.
3. Production and services develops, which creates a much higher
income than 20 years ago, improving the lives of families, not only the
food and clothing, but also the repair and construction of permanent
houses, the purchase of modern appliances and equipment, especially in
Luong Ngoc village - the village which has tourist services, and two
villages of Luong Hoa and Luong Thuan which grow sugarcane. The
rate of poor households decreases rapidly.
Economic growth creates good financial resources, combined with
the commune's capital sources, helps Muong people to organize cultural
activities well. All the villages have cultural houses, playground and
sports clubs. The most typical example is Luong Ngoc village with
thousands of square meters of sport and recreation area near the Fish
Stream intersection; 5 arts and sports clubs.
The financial resources obtained by economic growth help the
commune to organize a good festival (Opening Ceremony) every year
on January 8 in Lunar year. The processions, sacrifices and ceremonies
are purchased more and more beautiful ...
Economic development towards the direction of goods production
and market mechanism changes some belief activities. Muong people
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previously did not burn ancestral incense on the full moon and the first
day of the Lunar month, but now most families follow this tradition like
Viet people. Most of the families doing business in the Fish Stream are
setting up altars for the God of wealth, many also burn apparitions when
meeting with difficult customers. In 2008, the communal Snake god
temple at the edge of the Fish Stream was restored.
4.1.2. The ineffective aspects
1. The economic structure has changed, but at a slow pace,
agriculture still accounts for a high proportion, the value of small
handicrafts is low because the industry is not expanded; trade factor in
services is very fuzzy (no trader class has been formed yet, only families
have been buying goods and products for re-selling to tourists and
people in the commune). Especially, forestry - the strength of Muong
people and Cam Luong communes still accounts for a small proportion
of the economic structure. Forest planters still cultivate in the extensive
way, planting multi-breed-mixed plants, without "key" plant, so their
income is not high, they cannot enrich their forests.
2. The economic development models and projects approaching
Muong people and Cam Luong communes are many, but there are no
projects, models which are really sustainable, there are even "premature
death" model. The basic reason is not thoroughly investigating the
residents’ ability to acquire techniques. Some plant projects require very
high technology, strictly following the technical process, while most
Muong people are familiar with the techniques of the natural economy,
so they cannot adapt. Some projects are "imposed their strict term" by
Party A, which is detrimental, causing great damage to growers,
3. The natural nature of traditional economic thinking is bold. Each
family when raising - growing a kind of pet or plant often "follow the
18


crowd", they have little calculation of reasonableness, so the efficiency
is not commensurate with the investment. The economy of the majority
of families, as well as the whole commune, is not stable, the efficiency
is not high, the factors attracting the development of the community are
not much.
Tourist service activities form spontaneously, laborers who work in
tourism are originally farmers, they are not trained in professional skills
amd not yet oriented, so in general, "sell what they see, sell what they
have", tourist goods and products are monotonous. Many products are
not standard. Hawking and soliciting often happens.
4.1.3. Viewing livelihood changes from an Ethnographic/
Anthropological perspective
The issues presented in this chapters show that the current
livelihood of Muong people, as well as most ethnic groups and
communities of dependent pre-industrial societies, have a relationship
with many factors. They are natural and residential conditions; political
factors (directions and policies of the Party and State, concretized by
local Party Committees into resolutions and specific development
plans); the efforts of the Muong community and each household here in
promoting resources for economic development.
4.2. Current livelihood advantages and difficulties of Muong
people in Cam Luong commune
4.2.1. Advantages
Aside from the advantages thanks to the State's investment and the
general guidance of Thanh Hoa province, Cam Thuy district and Cam
Luong commune, there are also other particular advantages. That is, by
the middle of 2019, the cement bridge crossing the Ma River (from Cam
19


Thach commune) runs straight to the Fish Stream area will be
completed. Roads from the Cam Thuy 1 Hydropower Plant to the
commune are also opened, creating more favorable conditions for
economic development, cultural and social exchange for Muong people
and other local ethnic groups; especially for attracting tourists.
Cam Luong has potential in land (agricultural land and forestry
land), agricultural and forestry products will be enhanced in value when
tourism in the Fish Stream area is expanded according to the tourism
development policy of Thanh Hoa province and Cam Thuy district,
according to Decision No. 3614/QD-UBND dated September 19, 2016
of Thanh Hoa Provincial People's Committee approving the Scheme on
“Developing community tourism in Cam Luong commune, Cam Thuy
district to 2025, vision to 2030 ”.
4.2.2. Difficulties
The first difficulty is the risk of being flooded in the rainy season,
when Cam Thuy 1 Hydropower Plant (the main dam in Luong Thuan
village) is completed in 2019, production will be unstable, an important
source of income will be lost, while career change is very difficult.
Tourism development has brought many positive aspects, but also
drag along many consequences, such as increasing the gap in income,
the gap between the rich and the poor, leading to the disagreement in the
community of residents, between households participating in tourist
service and non-participating households, and also those who do tourism
in Luong Ngoc village, between residents and authorities. Quality of
tourism services is low. In the future, when the commune transportation
system is strengthened, tourists coming to Cam Luong, with Fish Stream
being very crowded, posing challenges to security, order saving, and to

20


sustainability of tourism, associated with the "survival" of the Fish
Stream.
4.3. Some proposals and recommendations from the study of
livelihoods of Muong people in Cam Luong commune today
4.3.1. The basis of the recommendations
The scientific basis of the recommendations is the sustainable
development of ethnic groups and resident communities based on 5
development axes, in which the economic axis is the essential material
content of society. The livelihoods are the basic content of the economic
axis; at the same time, it is one of the four elements of ethnic culture,
have a close relationship with other elements.
The scientific basis of the recommendations is also the position of
each economic unit or each livelihood of Muong people in Cam Luong
commune today including agriculture (cultivation, livestock), forestry
and tourist service.
The practical basis of the recommendations is the current
shortcomings and difficulties of the Muong community in Cam Luong
commune; documents of Thanh Hoa province and Cam Thuy district
authority on aspects related to socio-economic development of Cam
Luong commune.
4.3.2. Specific recommendations
The dissertation proposes recommendations to the authorities,
relevant departments of Thanh Hoa province, Cam Thuy district on the
development of agriculture, forestry and tourism in Cam Luong
commune; petitioning to Cam Luong commune authorities about the
replication of effective economic models and the management of service
activities in Fish Stream; propose to Luong Ngoc village to strengthen
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propaganda so that the resident community can see the role of
preserving the Fish Stream area, of the consensus in the exploitation and
protection of natural resources.
End of Chapter 4.
CONCLUSION

1. The thesis approaches livelihoods on the basis of livelihood
theory and sustainable livelihood framework. Livelihoods have a close
relationship with natural conditions, population characteristics, social
institutions and political aspects (institutions and policies); are the
manifestations of 5 capital sources for development. The thesis also
approaches the theory of cultural change, because livelihood is an
important element of ethnic culture; have a continuation from tradition,
but is also easy to change under the impact of many factors.
2. Muong people live in Cam Luong commune - one of 4 extremely
difficult communes of Cam Thuy district, whose terrain is surrounded
by three sides of rock mountains and low hills, the remaining side is Ma
river, whose climate is harsh, and rice fields are very few. Therefore, the
traditional livelihood - economic aspect of Muong people is a
"combination" of agriculture (single-crop paddy rice and upland field),
exploitation of natural products (gathering and hunting), family crafts
(weaving and knitting). Agriculture, occupying a dominant position,
consists of cultivation and animal husbandry; in which, cultivation of
paddy rice fields is the main activity, supplemented by crops in the
fields and along the Ma river, and animal husbandry depends on
cultivation. It is a natural economy (based on the nature and heavily
dependent on nature), with low and precarious animal and plant
productivity, products of the components that constitute the economic
complex almost do not carry any value of goods, but are mainly to serve
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