This paper critically examines an account called the “Biography of the Hồng Bàng Clan” in a fifteenth-century text, the Arrayed Tales of Selected Oddities from South of the Passes [Lĩnh Nam chích quái liệt truyện]. This account is the source for the “historical” information about the Hùng kings. Scholars have long argued that this information was transmitted orally from the first millennium BCE until it was finally written down at some point after Vietnam became autonomous in the tenth century. In contrast, this paper argues that this information about the Hùng kings was created after Vietnam became autonomous and constitutes an “invented tradition.”

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