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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.
Nguyen The Anh (2016), “Livelihood and cultural development issues of Muong people in Cam Luong”, Art and Culture Review, page 31-34.
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.
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.
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 1
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. 2
- 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 3
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 4
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.
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 6
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 7
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.
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. 9
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 12
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 13
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.
- 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 15
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 17
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
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 21
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 22