- 東南アジア研究 (ISSN:05638682)
- vol.56, no.2, pp.148-184, 2019 (Released:2019-01-31)
In December 2016, the element titled “Practices related to the Viet beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms” was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Under Vietnam’s socialist government, rituals and festivals related to the beliefs in Mother Goddesses had been prohibited as superstition before the Doi Moi period. Even though these beliefs and related practices were reevaluated and revived as a beautiful tradition, especially after the 1990s, there has been constant debate over whether beliefs in Mother Goddesses can be categorized as superstition. The question here is why Vietnam’s government applied for the inscription of this element while it had not yet concluded the debate. In this article, by considering this question we examine how Vietnam’s government intends to increase control over this element through naming, protecting, and avoiding its transformation. We also demonstrate that the framework for the heritagization of this element has been changed from theaterization to purization as beliefs, so that the government can criticize and prevent stage adaptation or theaterized rituals as an unintended transformation of heritage.