The Mnông

11:32 AM 22/01/2016 Views: 1601 Print

The M'Nong have a 67,300 population. They are also called Bu-dang, Preh, Ger, Nong, Prang, Rlam, Kuyenh, Chil Bu nor and M'nong Bu-dang. They live in concentration in the southern part of Darlac province, and parts of Lam Dong and Song Be provinces. Their language belongs to the Mon-Khmer Group.

They use the slash-and-burn method in farming. Submerged fields are found only in areas near rivers, lakes and ponds. Domestic animals are buffaloes, dogs, goats, pigs, poultry and even elephants. The M'Nong in Ban Don are well known for elephant hunting and domestication. Women handle the weaving of cotton cloth while men do basketry.

They live in houses built on stilts or level with the ground. Houses built level with the ground have thatched roofs reaching down almost to the ground and vaulted doorways.

Each village usually has dozens of households. The village chief plays a major role among villagers. Everybody lives with the experiences and customs handed down by earlier generations. Men and women, young and old alike, like to drink alcohol from jars with pipes and to smoke tobacco thread rolled in leaves.

Men generally wear loincloths and leave their upper torsos naked. Women wear capes which fall to their ankles. For both young men and young women, vests are slipped on like pullovers. Dark indigo loincloths, capes and vests are decorated with red-colored designs.

Matriarchy is observed and the children take the family name of their mother. In the family, the wife holds the key position but the husband is free from differentiation of treatment. Wife and husband show mutual respect. Aging parents used to live with their youngest daughter.


According to old habits, M'Nong grown-ups must file their teeth before talking of love and marriage. Marriage goes through 3 steps-proposal, engagement and wedding. After marriage, the young couple can live with the husband's or the wife's family according to the consent of both families.

The M'Nong like to have many children, especially daughters, One year after birth, the baby is given the true name. At and beat and drums by the side of the coffin the whole day and night. After placing the coffin in the grave, they cover it with plants, trees bought and leaves before filling up with earth. After 7 days or month, the family holds a rite to go out of mourning.

The M'Nong believe in the existence of many genies which are related to their life, among them, Mother Rice holds a special role. Along with farming, every year they hold rituals to protect Mother Rice and pray for bumper harvest.