Thousands of years ago, during the reign of King Duong Vuong, whose kingdom was an unknown vast stretch of land in the far East. He married princess Long Nu, the daughter of Dong Dinh Vuong- sovereign of the Dong Dinh Lake. They were blessed with one son, called Sung Lam, or more popularly known as Lac Long Quan or Dragon Prince. Because of Long Nu's origin, Dragon Prince was believed to be a descendant from the line of the Dragons. Indeed Dragon Prince possessed extraordinary strength and intelligence. The influence from his mother's underwater world developed in him a strong fascination for the ocean. The young man was often seen along the shorelines enjoying the waves and exploring the many sea creatures in sight.

Soon, he succeeded his father's throne and governed the Lac Viet tribe. Meanwhile, another kingdom ruled the highlands in the north. Their king, De Lai, had a beautiful daughter named Au Co. Wanting to unite his northern tribe with Dragon Prince's kingdom, he agreed to give his daughter's hand for marriage with the young man.A lavish wedding feast ensued and the two kingdoms celebrated their unity.

Time went by, Au Co gave birth to a pouch filled with one hundred eggs, which soon hatched into one hundred beautiful children. The children grew up strong and intelligent like their father, and kind-hearted and skilful like their mother. They were taught well how to cultivate their lands and live nobly. But soon after, the couple started to grow unhappy. Dragon Prince found his heart longing for the Coast, while Au Co constantly yearned for the Highlands.

 

The couple decided to divide their children, of whom fifty will follow Dragon Prince to the Coast. Au Co would lead the other fifty children to dwell with her in the highlands. However, they made a promise that despite the distance and separation, they must always look after each other and always be there to lend a hand should one be needed.

Dragon Prince took the fifty children to the Coast and divided the area for them to govern. He taught them fishing skills and the art of tattoos to scare off sea creatures as they dived and hunt for food. He also taught them to grow rice, and cook them in bamboo tubes. Au Co took the other fifty children to the Highlands. She divided the land for them to govern. They were taught to live in jungles and mountains, breed animals and cultivate the land to grow fruit trees for food. They learnt to build houses raised on bamboo stilts to keep themselves safe from wild animals.

The children of Dragon Prince and Au Co were believed to be Ancestors of Vietnamese people today. Vietnamese people called themselves "the children of the Dragon and the Fairy" referring to Dragon Prince's lineage from the world of the Dragons and Au Co's fairy clan from the Highlands.

This legend, then, has become the pride and bond of unity for all Vietnamese people.

© 2016 by Tim Leveson Interiors