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Dalat, Vietnam

The Massive Darahoa Rooster

Fowl, love and death in Vietnam. 

A gigantic rooster is the main focal point of Darahoa, a small Southern Vietnamese village. The town is almost built around the statue, and the legend of the statue’s origin represents the attitudes of the village.

Darahoa is a mixed village community of two minority groups in Vietnam, the Chill and the K’Ho. Although the two groups coexist today without struggle, this was not always the case and according to local tradition, a tragic Romeo and Juliet-esque tale took place many years ago when sparks flew between a Chill woman and a rich and powerful K’Ho hunter.

When the couple tried to wed, the man’s father objected to the Chill woman and assigned her a series of tasks, the most difficult of which was finding a rooster with nine spurs and an elephant with nine tusks. As a devoted boyfriend, her soon-to-be husband headed into the woods to find the elusive beast. Days later, she found him dying in the jungle and held him in her arms as he took his last breaths.

To reflect the morals of this sad tale, artist Lu Truc Phuong built the giant rooster in 1978. It stands in the center of the town to symbolize harmony and peace in the village between the two groups. The rooster also represents the love the two people had for each other.

Aside from representing positive morals, the rooster also sits atop a water pump, that provides water for the entire village, sharing the wealth of the land and embracing people of all walks of life.