Ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands

Các dân tộc thiểu số ở Tây Nguyên

The Central Highlands of Vietnam include five provinces: Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kom Tum, Gia Lai and Lam Dong. Many ethnic minorities live here, including the Bana, Gia Rai, Ede, M’nong, Co Ho and Ma, indigenous people who have lived here for many centuries.

bana ethnic group


The Bana people live mainly in the province of Kon Tum, with customs such as worshiping many gods, free marriage, traditional weddings and building their own house after giving birth to their first child.

The Bana ethnic group lives in robust stilt houses and each town has a large and beautiful tavern (communal house) in the center of the town. The culture of the town is associated with various musical instruments, from gongs, gongs to T’rung, Klong put, Koni, silk trumpet…; The art of wood carving is also highly developed here. This is clearly shown through the Kon Tum Cathedral (Kon Tum Wooden Church), a sacred religious site built entirely of wood, extremely beautiful.


Kon Tum wooden church

The costumes of the Bana ethnic group are men with loincloths and women with skirts. They earn their living mainly from agriculture and livestock. Each town has a blacksmith shop and the women weave cloth to make clothes for their families; Men weave mats, weave nets, make baskets, baskets… They buy and sell through barter.

Ethnicity Gia Rai

The residence of the Gia Rai ethnic group is mainly located in the provinces of Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Dak Lak. They have the custom of worshiping the god (Giang) and many rituals related to the god in production; Maintaining the matrilineal system, children follow their mother’s surname and are divided into property when they marry. Free marriage, girls take the initiative in marriage. Children live with the in-laws and cannot inherit property.

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People live in towns, in stilt houses, each town has a communal house. The village elder is the head of the village. Musical instruments include gongs, gongs, T’rung, jungnung and klong put. The Gia Rai people are also producers of famous epics and ancient stories.

People make a living by farming and raising livestock, especially raising elephants.

ede ethnic group


The Ede people live mainly in Dak Lak province and southern Gia Lai province. They worship many gods and live in stilt houses and long houses. In the house, the main half is for receiving guests, called Gah; The other half is the family’s living space (OK).

The Ede ethnic community also maintains a matrilineal system, children follow their mother’s surname and male children do not inherit. A man lives in his wife’s house, and if his wife dies, his wife’s sisters have no one to replace them, so they return to live with her sister.

Musical instruments include gongs, gongs, drums, flutes, flutes, and lutes. The year ding is a popular and favorite musical instrument. Rich treasure of oral literature: myths, fairy tales, folk tales, especially epics and epics (Khan).

As for clothing, women wear indigo shirts and skirts with colorful prints. The men wear loincloths and shirts. Jewelry: silver, copper, beads.

m’nong ethnic group

The M’nong people, who mainly reside in the provinces of Dak Lak, Lam Dong and Binh Phuoc, as well as other ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, worship many gods, especially the god of rice. They live in villages in stilts and bungalows, each village having a few dozen roofs, headed by the village chief.

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Maintaining the matrilineal system, the children bear the mother’s surname and the wife is the head of the family. M’nong people like many girls, only after 1 year of birth they can name them. At funerals it is customary to sing, beat gongs and drums next to the coffin. When lowering the grave, use trees, sticks and leaves to cover the hole and then cover it with soil. After 7 days or 1 month, a funeral ceremony is performed. Everyone loves wine and rolling tobacco.

As for clothing, women wear skirts and long pants, men wear loincloths and go shirtless. Elephant hunting and domestication here is very famous (Buon Don).

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