54 GROUPS: GIA RAI PEOPLE OF VIETNAM

This page provides some details about the Gia Rai people. They are one of the 54 groups of people in Vietnam.

Name Of Ethnic Group

Gia Rai (also called Gio Rai, To Buan, Hobau, Hdrung, and Chor)

Gia Rai People Population

513,930 people (2019 Census)

Locality

Mainly in Gia Lai Province, parts of Kon Tum Province, and northern Dak Lak Province.

Customs & Habits

The Gia Rai believe in the existence of Giang (Genies) and therefore hold many rituals connected to their genies. In fact, they live in separate villages called ploi or bon. Houses are on stilts. The village chief and the elders have great prestige in Gia Rai society and also play a role in running collective activities. Each village has a communal house called a Rong. A matriarchal system has been adopted. Women are free to choose their lovers and decide who they marry. The husband lives with his wife’s family and has no right to inheritance. The daughter, after marriage, no longer lives with her parents and inherits from them. The children take the family name of the mother.

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Culture

Gia Rai language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian Group. Long epics and old tales such as “Dam Di Di San” (Dam Di Goes Hunting) and “Xinh Nha” are very popular in Gia Rai society. Musical instruments include gongs, T’rung, To-Nung, and Krong-Put.

Costumes

The Gia Rai garments resemble Tay Nguyen’s garments.

Economy

The Gia Rai live on slash-and-burn cultivation and terraced fields. Rice is their staple food. They also breed elephants. The men are very skillful in basketry and the women in cloth weaving. Hunting, gathering, and fishing are other sideline occupations.

For more information about 53 more ethnic groups of people in Vietnam, please follow this link

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