Van Lang People, Vietnam

According to myth, the first Vietnamese people were descended from the Dragon Lord Lac Long Quan and the Immortal Fairy Au Co. Lac Long Quan

and Au Co had 100 sons before deciding to part ways. 50 of the children went with their mother to the mountains, and the other 50 went with their father to the sea. The eldest son became the first in a line of early Vietnamese kings, collectively known as the Hung kings (Hung V??ng or the Hong Bang Dynasty). The Hung kings called their country, located on the Red River delta in present-day northern Vietnam, Van Lang. The people of Van Lang were known as the Lac Viet.

Van Lang is thought to have been a matriarchal society, similar to many other matriarchal societies common in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific islands at the time. Many legends from this period offer a glimpse into the life of the people. The Legend of the Rice Cakes is about a prince who won a culinary contest; he then wins the throne because his creations, the rice cakes, reflect his deep understanding of the land’s vital economy: rice farming. The Legend of Giong about a youth going to war to save the country, wearing iron armor, riding an armored horse, and wielding an iron staff, showed that metalworking was sophisticated. The Legend of the Magic Crossbow, about a crossbow that can deliver thousands of arrows, showed extensive use of archery in warfare.