1 HISTORY OF THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE, OF SOUTHERN INDOCHIfNA Age~lcy for Tnterbntltionixl Dovelop ment Washington, D.C.
3 DEPARTMENT OF STATE OIVISIOW 8F LAICUAQE SEWVICES CIlAFTER ONE THE COUNTW :PA GE; 3.. Main Struc-tnral. Features of the Mountainous Regions The Tribes of.the kilerg.or E'or.merl:y Occupied the Coa.sta1 Plains of Central and SouLhern Viet,nam..., The Hi.nterland Doundar*ie s of.the tiinteubland...,. 11 5, The Central Plateau of hlndochj.n.a and the (;~:ri.l~*a.i. Depressior! 5 I. Mountain.People of the NorLh and. the Sou.th Fi.rbst Historical Record of -the Mountain PeopLf. 3. 0r:igins o.f the Moun'tain I'eop1.e Melanesians...,...* Indonesians...,...,...o,.a Mourrtain People of Southern Ind.ochina 12el.al;ed to Coastal I'eopl-es of the Pacific Diversity of the Mountain Peop1.e...,.* LO. 11. u.. Characteristics of the Cham Occupation and its Beriefits The Vietnamese...,...~.4,~...e CIIBPTER 111 THE SETTmG OF l3-e MPS AND THEIR mu.tions WITH NEIaIBORLNG COIJNTRES In Ancient Times... Relztions with India...,...*... First Hindu Se.ttlements and their Effects... Funan...a...o.. Hinduized Indonesians and Indonesians of the Mountains.. The Champa...,...,.e...a...~... Ekpansion of -the Champa...a.. Resistance by the Earlier Coastal 1lwell.ers Trade and Wars...,...~...t... The Cham and the Mountain People... Influence of the Mountain People on the Cham...
4 CHAPTER IV FIRST CONFEDEMTIONS OF MOUNTAIN PE0PI.B 1. Formation and Differentiation of Dialects Fan Wen The Principality of the Ma The Jarai and their "Sadet" The Patau Pui and the Cambodians CEIAPTER V MOUPaTAIN TZEGIONS CAUGIT ElWER WARRmG KHMERS AND CHAM FROM. 11th TO -L5th CENTURY I.. AreaIiuled'bytkleKhmers The Pla-teaus. Battler ield 01' Lhe Warring Khmer and Cham. Peop1.e~ Western Part of the Plateaus Occupied by the Cham & IJoss of.the Iijnterland by the Cham THE %:AS?'EFiN PART OF T1-IE: HINTE;mND FROM THE 15th TO SPITE I ~EG~NING OF THE 19i;h CENTURY The Mountain Peop1.e from.the 15th.to the l7-lh Century, Waning of the Sadet s Inf 1-uence. Downfa1.l of.the Che Ma Pri.ricipality... The Organization of the Moi. Courstry by.the Vietnamese, and the Expansion of Vietnam Toward.the South... Aim and Proce&u.res of.the Viei. namese Administration... Adminis.tra.t5.ve and. I?iscal. Organization Province. Po Cheun Chan... Commercial. Organization...e.,... The IZevolt of 1761 The Tay Son and.the Mountain People The Administrative Achievements of Gia Long The Vietnamese, the Cham and the Mountain People of Binh Thuan CIUYI'ER VII THE WSTEIW PART OF 'ME HINmRIABD FROM THE 15th TO TEE EARLY 19th CENTUEIY 1 Slave Raids The Retreat of.the Khmers The Advance of the Laotians Siam and Laos at War The Siamese Invasion Revolts... 58
5 TElE MOUIVI'ABQ PEOPLE FROM TIE RESrmMTION OF THE NGWEN IN ANMM UfaTIL 1859 The Stieng Panduranga...a...-a-... Son Phong : the Mi.1itary A ccornp1iskunen.t s; Pisca.1. Reorg:iyij.~,a,- tion; Admrinis-trative Iteorganization; Trade arid!;i~rrui~i::~-cc. The 'i'ribes of -the HighLa.nci PLa-tet~us : Sedarig, Bahnn.r, Jarai, Iihade, etc.... Establishment o.c the Ca.thol.j.c Mit;sion in lior~tun~..... The Mounl;,air\ People Du.r:i.~ig the 1:'rench Occuyti. t:j.o!. cj I' Cochi-rl-.Ch.i.riil Tay Ninh... 1'o.u Combo... a;+e.+ r ihe..., Canbod.i.n.r:i:; a-l Srelc!E"kv-~ri 'I'he MLssi-on 01.' A. (;an't,:ier...!the Mouri-La.:i.ri '1'r:ibtis i.n -the Annc-trn:i-1,s Il.t,&'. 71 or1 :3 *.. -,.. 'S.'huan Klianh... IS.ua.ng Ngai. Se F3ang Iii.erig...,...,...~..e.,...sa-.e......,..,.. The Mi.s:c:ion... Revolt of the Sc)?o.l.aro.... Siamese Encroachment... The Koritum Mission... 'The Balilriar-Roxigao Coni'edera Lior~..... Mxyrena...,...e*.,h. The Pavie Mission... Cupet... Se Dori and Se Barigg 1i:i.eng... :I msitancy - CONT'US1:ON - mtigats '.PE.Ti-iE APOSTLES AhTD TIE VICTmS Revolt of Phu Yerl (1900)... The Bo:l.ovens (% )....Assassirlation of IIo'be.ri; at.the River Psi Post (1.901)..,,. The Jarai. 'The Sa.det. Lose Thei.r Prestige... A ssassinati.on of Oderid ha:/ Orgai?i.zation of the Iiinterlarid... The Pi.oneers... Me Sao, ,,,. ~... ~. L.... L.. L. ~.. ~ n. ~... o
6 The End of the Son Phong...,...,...,...e..e..e* Sabatier...,...e...~+e...*.a The Southern Hinterland...,,...,..,...,,...,,.,t I'A. CIF ICAT JON The Circular of July 30, 192%... At the Frontiers of Cochin-China--Progress and Incidents Agitation in Kontum... The Kha Th...
7 LS C/R-XVII French The present study, bepn in 1951, was conti.nt.ted at the suggestion of H,E. the Director of the Inlperial Cabinet, Having 23.ved for the past three years far from the plateaus of the "montagnards" and the libraries of Saigon and Hanoi, I have been unable to continue my documentation beyond , and I therefore chose, this point: at,which to break off my narrative. This accounts for the absence of references to disposi~.i.ons and docunlents compiled by authority of the Imperial Cabinet: and of his Majesty. My thanks are due to Mrc Fraa~ois Paul. Antoine, H, M, Commissio~~er for the Education of the WS, who was kind enough to encourage this paper, review the text:, and give me the benefit of his val-uable experience with the mountain tribes, The geographi.ca1 sketches are reproduced by courtesy of Mr. Delacour, Assistant to the Director of the Ptxb1i.c Works Department in Phnom I?cnh, and of 'Messrs. Bui-Quang-Tra and Nguyen-Bao-Loc, both engineers with the Cambodian Public Works Department. I should lilce in this foreword to place on record my sincere gratitude to them, Bernard Bourotte
9 DEPARTMENT OF STATE DlVlSlON OF Lh#CUhQE SERVICES LS ~ T-~~/K-zv French Appendix Index of Vietnamese Names Maps Page Fj g. I - The "mc,nlagnardl' peoples of SouLhcrn rndochina " 2 - Fi.ghti.ng.i.n [:lie vicini.ly of Yal-i.., ;? 9 " 3 - Search for eaglewood Ir :? " 5 - 'The S6 l3ang I4i$ng Region. 56 " 6 - The Son Phong " 7 - Movenlerit of the tr i bc?s Ilrom the 1.81Jil Iro the 79th centllry.. 67 " 8 - Wginnings oe the I<onl.ur~~ Mission 'T L " LO - Pavi-e Mi-ssion. Cupet's 1.ti.nerary " Southern Hint:erland " Operations
13 THE ZlISTOKY OF 'CIZE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OX;' SOUTIERN TNDOCHTNA UP 1' CWP%'ElI ONE '1.112 C otiwrl<y 1. MAIN STKIJCTUIUL FEATURES OF rililj3 MOUNTAINOIJS 1IEG:CONS The mountains of Asia are t:he highest in the world. In prelti.:;toric tin~e? the southernmost of these rallges were thrust: against the very anc.i.ent, tltick, resistant mass:i.e of sou tlzerrl Ch:i.na, '[.'heir mountain folds, close-packed ant1 deflected toward the croutll, extend.l across T.ndoclii.ua until they reach a fracture marked by the, Ai.1.ao" Pass and the course of the Se Bang Itieng river. South of this line, whi.ch runs close to the 17th parallel N, the physl.cal. structure of Indoch.i.ria changes : in contrast to t:he close successio~l of parall.e:l. fol.ds fotmd In the north, souti~ern Zndoc11j.ni~ resembles a vast sandstone tableland, Starting from the east, it slopes gent1.y toward the Melcong in a series of broad tiers punctui~tecl by smaller steps. Like that of the 1~k1ssi.l: Ceutral. i.11 France, the ens tern edge of this p:lateau drops away abrupt:ly to the east, as a result oe earlier subsi.detlce,, onto the coastal plain of:' Vietnam, When seen from the open sea, this escarpnent 1001~s like a gigantic wall and is son~eti.mes mj.stalcet1 for a mountain range. Li.ke our Massif Central., the Lndochl.~.iese p3.a t:eau contains extinct volcalzoes, in some of whose craters pl.ncid lnlces may be round; subsidence has hol.l.owed out the? sur.face sandstone to form occasional marshy depres sions, some of whi.ch have been developed as irri.gated paddyfields. (1) *For technical. reasons, the names that appear in this essay in tlie guoc-gnu tra11sliteration have been wri.t:ten without diacritics. For those of our readers who are interested in their exact orthography, we inc%ude as an appendix an alphabeti.cal list of all these names. N.I).L.R. (1) This tectonic foreland, to use the term proposed by geologisls to describe souther11 Indochina, has the advantage of coinciding approximately with the region inhabited by the mountain people of the soutli. Care should be taken iiot pursue this comparison between southern Indochina and the Massif Central of France too far. it was i.ntroduced here for the sake f simpl!.ficatton as well. as to combat the 13elie.E in the existence of an 'Annam~t IC ~ha1n"'- not to say cordillera - wlii.ch text:bookr; and maps imported from France seem una11l.e to shed. Unlike the Massi.f Central. of France wt1:iclr culmiizates in the southear;;t: the h~ghest elevat~ons In southern ~ndocfiina are found in the northeast: ok t11.e forelaizd; moreover, the plateaus are covered by a thick layer of sandstone, whereas granite preclomi.nates ill our Massif Central.
14 - 2- Near the Krong Ana river, the region around Lake Dak Lak provides a typical example of these ferti.le pockets. Bere and there, on the Bolovens, Plateau, in Kassex~g country, from Kontum to the soutlzern part of the 1)arJ.a~ Plateau, on the Djiring plateau and the slopes of the Zof ty Chhlong, the red and black topsoils of the depressions, formed by the decomposition of the basalts, are used for crop growing and nowadays even plantations. These scattered enclaves of fertility stand out in sharp contrast against the remainder of the higl~l ands, which bristle with impenetrable jungle, and against Lhe vast expanses of savanna11 anil sparse woodland. These plateaus, these seemingly infi.nite tracts of for the most part poor land, are now the Zioine of the mountain people whose history is su.nunars.zed it? this study. 2. TI-IE TRIBES OF THE INTERIOIi FOllM'EIILY OCCUPIED THE COASTAL PLAINS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTFERN VIEYNAH 1.t seems probable that at.first the mountain tril3e:i inhabited the narrow strip oc low-lying and relatively fertile plains which hugs the coastline, because some of their 1.egends still speak ol' the sea. I'lrivcn out by invaders, they rook reiiuge in the mountains, Safe behind the mountain ra~npar ts overhanging the coast, they settled in the hi.ghlands, where fever and fear of the Spirits reign. The appall-i.ng reputation of these regions, the forniidable slopes barring access to them, and the impoverishment of the soil repulsed would-be conquerors and deterred them from pursuing the fugitives, who had become "mountain people." This term "mountain people" or Ml'S (_Mountain people of Southern ~ndochina) calls for clarification: t:he WS are not confined to the peaks, as are the Ka Taouat and the IZa Tu from the sources or the Len and the Banao, or the Meo, true mountain tribes which came frml SouCh China. the Meo, altitude is a necessity; they are not at home at sea level. To If they are forced to stay below about 5,000 ft., their systems react
15 -3- dangerously; in any event, tiley Ilave so far shown little incfi.nation for cultivating irrigated paddyfields. On the other hand, numerous tribes of southern Indochina (the Sr6, Bih, Mnong Rlam of Dak Lak) make excel.lent rice growers; some of tl~em, for example in Quang Ngai, still live in delta areas, By and large, if men from the hinterland llappen to be brought to the coast, t:l.tey are neither surprised nor unduly awed by the sea. More- over, i.f transplanted to the ba~ilts of the Mekong, they generally stand the move very well.. 'Chis happened in the case of some of Po Cheun's companions: driven out of their country by the Jarei., they have Laen thri.vi.lzg for more than 50 years now in the neigl~borhood ul^ Veam Chi Lang in Lower Caliil3odi.a. l'lie Tiorn Pueum and the Bih, too,,who were c+xpell.ed frau their vil.l.nges by tlie Mnong &cen.g in 1887, settled in lowland areas that had been left vacant by successive wars, raids and :i.~rvasions. In real.i.ty, theref ore, tl-le mountaln people are pln teau people. 3, 'CTIF HINTER.~CANU liint:erlarld is the term applied to the regions o.c the interior that: lie between the coastal pl.a%ns of the Sout:h China Sea and the banks of the Mekong. Prom an altitude of 8,125 ft. at Ataouat in the northeast and of 6,825 ft, on the La M8re et l1i3nfant (Mother and Child) massif, the highest point in. the southeast, t:he land drops away gradual.ly to 1.,950 ft. west of the Central Plateau anct on1.y a. few hundred feet in the spurs and footlriills of this plateau. The administrative l.imits of i~he present-day MPS do not incl.ude al1 the mountain people of southern Indochina; their territory formerly comprised five provinces. From north to south, these were: 1, IContum, in whi.ch the Rahnar and the Sedang were predominant, 2, Pleiku, inhabited chiefly by the Jarai., 3. Darlac (Ban Me Timot),.in which the most important groups were the Rhade and tlle Mnong.
16 4, Lang Bian and 5, Upper Donnai, both territories belonging to the former pri.ncipa1i.t~ of the Che Ma. If one were to confine oneself strictly to tlze history of these provinces, sizable groups or undeniable importance would be passed over, for ex,lmple the Da-Vach of Quang Ngai, south of the CoZ des Nuages (Pass of the Clouds), who are traditional pickers of cinnamon and were formerly subjects of the Sonphong in Quang-ngai. Under cover of the foothills that run seaward from the mountains of Annarn, mountain people are sometimes round right up to thc sea shore. 111 Binh-din11 (2), Phu-yen, IZhanli-hoa and Ninh-thuan, they occupy large areas, and I:he enti.re western part of these provi.rices is their domain. In the southwest, the lzuoy, the Mahdi and the Antor are spread out n5, far as the Mekong and even beyond, although they fall outside Llie scope oi' the present ebsay, 4. EOTJNDARTES OF THE IIZNTER'LANI) To the east, the hinterland begins with the lines of ridges that skirt and clominate the p1ai.n~ of central Vietnam. Along this eastern boundary the steep scarp face of the plateau effecti.vely.i.solated arid protecl:ed the fiahnar, the Sedang, the Jarai and the Rl~aile: the boundary is st:r:ikfngj.y clear-cut. 'l'he races whi.ch inhabit the plateaus have remal.ned relatively pure.. 'So the south, the boundary is irregular: it reaches almost to the coast near Ba-ria, then moves northward to beyond the Donnai river. To tlze east of ttie median course of this river and as far as the 13i.nhthuan extends a region of hills broken by rnarshes, "filthy mudholes" and impenetrable forests. It is here that the Che Ma took refuge after being driven from the plains oi' present-day Vietnam. (2) Mr. Antoine has visited villages west of the LJ. IIai. valley, where the people, who describe themselves as 13ahnar-Cham and Jarai-Charn, have maintained some relations with their parent stock on the plateaus.
17 -5- Within the shelter of this "infernal" region, certain groups of Che Ma managed to retain their original character and qualities for a long time, Next, the oblique bouildary twists its way toward Ilon-quan. Between Ta-Lai, situated on the R, Donnai (Done?--Translator), and the Song Be, it slopes gently upward to meet the Central ~lateau. The same transitional character is foulnd reflected in the inhabitants of this region: they are the Stieng, a people whose original character changed on contact with the Vietnamese and Cambodians, Ease of access attracted outsiders into the area and, in a way, encouraged them to examine it and finally settle there. From this quarter, laclting in protection frm the ruountai.ns, the hinterland has frequently been crossed by traders and nligrating tribes, as well as by otk rs engaged i.n wars and pi.llaging. 5. TEE CEN'CIW, PP,ATEAU OF LNDOCIIINA AND TIlE CENTMI, DEPRESSION The sloping Land of northern Indochina rises toward a region which has been called the Central Plateau of Indochina, lcnown as the Yok Laych E by tlte people who i.nilabit it, It is here that the Song Be rises and here, too, is the meeting point of the Three Frontiers (South and Central Vi.e tncim and Cainl3od la), %'lie foothil.'l.s oc this plateau extend as far a:; Sre Khi~un~ and almost to 1Crati.e on tlle R, Mekong, Air 3.50 Icm. north of the highest point o.f the "~ok Laych," Lialfway between thc Ya Liau and tho Se San, the terrain dips to form a depressed area whiclt stretches as far as the outskirts of Koni:um, These lowlands separate the northern part of the interior from the mouritains of the south (Darlac, Lang J3ian and the Central Plateau). East of tlzis intrusion, the width of the high-altitude strip.fran east to west: barely exceeds one hundred lci.l.o~neters; at no ot,fler point in the whole of Indochina are the Hi.ghlands so narrow. The flat hnd along the lower and central reaches of the Srepok is covered by sparse forest that is virtually uninhabited. The highlands,
18 -6- and with them the mountain people, reappear around the 14th parallel N in the regions watered first by the Se San and then by the Se Kong, the Se Don and the Se Bang Hieng rivers. Peaceful invasion by the T'ai came late to thehe parts. The 'broad tributaries of the Mekong (Se San, Se Kong, Se Don and Se Rang Hieng) favored the infiltration of outsiders into the interior. From Stung Treng to the Se Bang Hieng River, the western edge of the hinterland, which hugs the great river, is never farther than 50 km. from it
19 THE LNIWRLTANTS 1. MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OF TIB NOKTB ANI) T'kE SOSOH The population of the mountains of northern Indochina consists mainly of groups of Mongol origin, in particular the M.eo, 'Man and Tho tribes, but in between the isolated bl.ocks t:liey fon~z are found tribes whose p11yslcal type, cus toins and language are reminiscent of the more southerly MCS. This is true of tlie i3olovells, the Ta Woi ancl the Ka Lu; others wexo live still fertlier nori:ii, e,g. the So, the Sck or tlle Sue, have undergol~e the in.cluence of tile l,aotians, whose :Language they speak in addition to [:heir own, whi.cli appears to be oli Moll-l<hmer origin. 'Clicy have also talien over the Laotian rnet:llod of wri.ti.ng, i.n addj.ti.on to numerous customs, These K11a peopl.c, as they are cal.l.ed by tile 'L,anti.tins, are found i.n tlle north as far as Nape, and even beyonrl the 'I'rnil-ninh.?:'lie limest:onc rna:jsi.e of Kebang, howc?ver, si.tuatad west of Dong-hoi, forms a nat-z~ral barrier between the people of the 110rth and of tlle soutii. 1 sfiall be inent.:i.oning the former oitly i.nciclent:illy, :is tiley are iiound i.11 small.ish group:; and little i.s kn0~1-1 of 1:l-iem; 1:lley are not part of tlie MPS and t11ei.r history.i.s bo1.1nd up niorc wi.t.l~ Laos. My st~rdy will. he concerned to sollie extent wit.11 tl~e tribes now dwellitlg soutll of the Icehang massi.f, but above all wi.tl~ the pe0p:l.e wllo arc liound sout:h of tlie 1.6th paral.:lel, wil.icll runs tchrough tllc approachc?~ to Da Nang (icournne) and the Col. des Nuages (l'as:; of the Cl.ot1cls). 2, FIRST IiISTOIlICAT, RECORD OF 'I'llD MOUNTAIN PEOI'1,E European maps make 110 mention of the mountain people until the 27th century, in 1645 to be precise, It was the missioriari.es who first revealed tl-ieir existence. 'rhe first peop1.e they recorded on their maps were the Moi.. Naturally, in showing Europe ttiiit: these peop1.c~ existed they gave them a name. The Chinese, tlie Vi.etnamese and the Cham ltncw of them because they had I-lad to fight: agai.nst them to the west of the coastal plains of Vietnam,
20 -8- but on the whole they did not differentiate among the various tribes which we distinguish there today, The Chinese referred to then1 under the coll.ective name of K'ouen Louen; the Vietnamese under that of Moi Tliuoc and Moi Da-Vech, according to whether or not they were subject to the Icing of Hue; and the Cham under that of M'Lecchas (savages) or Kiratas (hill people), However, the Cham, wtlo of all the peop1.e of the plains became the most actively involved in the life of the highland people, already Itnew the Rhade, the Jarai and the Ma, 3. ORIGINS OF TfE MOUNTAIN PEOPTJE Where do tliesc pcoples spring from? Even they do not know. Some 13ill and Kliade Legends clai-m they emerged from the bowels of the eert:h tl~roug'n the Bang Itiregne hole, The I3olovens, Alalc and some 01 the Iiliade, according to their own traditions, or i glna red in Vientiane or Muong 'rheng (Dien 13ien Plzu). Let us remember simply Lhat they claim to come from the north; the most intriguing of these legends suggest that tlle peoples lzow inhabi.ting the plateaus of the interior first lived along the seashore. O[:her (Alalc) versions indicate tha t they came from islands in tlic Pac2.f i c Ocean that have now vai~isiied beneath the waters. 'Uhis ~?art::i.c~ilar versi.on, which tallies fairly closely w:i.th present geological data, would a3.so serve to explain the Eamill.arity wl~.i.ch springs up so clui.ckly between the niountain folk and the sea; at the same tioie, it would account for disconcerting sirni.larities between certain people on the Asiatic and American seaboards of the Pacific Ocean. "The most obvious conclusion to draw from this fact is that the original. inhabitants of Indochina and the Malay Archipelago were akin to those still living on the :isl.ands of the Pacif i.c toclay."(3) 4, MEUNES IANS In the light of present-day ethnological knowledge, there is seen to be an extremely wide variety of physical types and languages in the hinterland. (3) CoedBs, "Histoire des pays hindouisds de llextreme-orient," p. 4,
21 -9- Bone remains found in the lowest layers of prehistoric deposits, Tor example at Linh Cam, suggest that hdochina was origi~lally inhabited by Negroes, Pdp~~arls and McLa~ies,ians similar to the aborigines of Australid,jnd New Guinea, These people have now disappeared frotn Soutl~east Asia, In former times they appear to have spread from otle si.de oi the Pacific Occan to the other. 111 Lndochi.na, the chipped stone tools that: i.t has been possible to cl.nssi ly prove that these races extended northward ar; Far as Tonkin, 'There are probably stil:l. 11ygnti.c.s in tlie 11i.ntcr:l.aud of 1)oilg Iloi. near tile approaches to the. Mu Gia Pass (Col de Mu-gi.a), w11il.e farther to soutli ce1:tai.n do1.i.choceph~zli.c i.11di.vi.dual.s with curly or f t-.i zzy Ilail: now appear to be sc1rvival.s itroln a.very distant past. Sl:ilI. i.11 very remote t:i.mes, tllougli at: a s:l.ightly :I.al:er sl:age, peo1)l.e of 1ndone:;ian racc bcc.:~mc sul?eri.mposed upozi and -in.i:errni;ted wi-th (:lie former Wegrico stock, ol whoru o11l.y scat t:erecl traces reniaixl. It i:i this Indvnesi.ar~ r:~cc wlii-cll is ilow ~?rcdcril~:i.uml~t on tl~e p%wteclus ol.iildoch.ina; i. t i.:: a:lso foutid i.n :I:i~doz~esia and on tile i.s Lanc1:i of L'ol.yr-les La, Perhaps it was tl1i.s race wlri.cli Jii.rs t brought neol..i.i:liic ant1 "po'li shed- s tone" i.ndus try to tlie Far East, l'lle Malays arri.ved La ter, but., set tl.j.il$: al.ong the co;lst, they cross-bred very cxtensi.vel.y, According to some scliolarc; (Kern, Cabahon), soutl~eril Incfoclli.na. was the birthplace 01 the Austrroncsian or L'olynesian race. "'fhc: cave-dwelf.c!-:i of Pho Kinh Gia seem to represent: tlte earliest: type oe tiiis race" (Mansuy), which presurnab3.y then spread throughout!:he l'acif i.c Ocean. The path followed by these peoples appears 1:o be lilarkeci by the Bac Son massif i.n Toilkin and by the caverns of Annai~l, 600 icii~. farther south. 'l'liese early inhabitants of T.ndoc11ina may be cornpared with the Wacljak of.java, Others llo3.d that t:llese Indonesi.ans came from tile ivlirlay i.sl.ands or possibly from Borneo, f roin where they radiated westward to Jndochi.na - - some claim even to India-,-and eastward to tlie irjlands of thc IJaci.fic.
22 MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OF SOUTHERN INDOCHINA REUTED TO COASTAL PEOPUS OF THE PACIFIC The dialects, art and certain features of the customs of the mountain people of Indochina are reminiscent of tl~ose of certain Paciric peoples. For example, the sacrificial poles of the upper Quang Narn and the way in which they are decorated call to mind the art of the Maori oe New Zealand. The breeding of hogs with curved canines is connnon both to the Polynesians and to the Ka Tu who live at the foot of Mt. Ataouat and Mt, Bana, In two fact-filled articles in this Bulletin, Mr. Pierre Paris drew attention to some details that are common both to the mountain people of Indochina and to some t1:ibes of American Indians: feathers are used to,decorate the tur1.1ans of the Jarai; ivory or.wooden earrings are common to the 'Iildians of Honduras and to the Che Ma of the Dji.ring region. Like the Sre, the Incas also believe that the sun contains the souls of the departed. Coedks writes: "Long before the arrival of foreign seafarers (he was referring to the I-Iindus), these peoples lzad their own navi.es." The voyage recently undertaken by Norwegian scholars, who cast off from Peru and were carried as far :is Polynesia by the winds and the currents, gives some insight into how these navigators were able to 11l;ike use of the natural elements. Far from being the savages their conquerors claim, the tribe:; of the hinteriand of Incloclii.na probably represent: a lost: ci.viliza- tion, "which de.vezoped c:lose to the sea, along the coastal rivers of Annam" (Coedks). Some of these Lndo~-iesi.ans came from the north. 'In this respect, etlznologists are in agreement wi.th what can be unraveled from the Legends of tlte Iialazzg, the Niaheun, tlle P,ol(>verts, etc. But others came from is:lancls in tho Ocean, and it j.s therefore impossi.ble, without some r-servatiolls, to accept tile claim that the mountain tribes of southern Indochina originally formed a sing1.e people.
23 DIVERSITY OF THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE Widely differing physical types are found within each tribe, The Jarai alone have such a large number of men of tall stature that in former times recruiting parties used to leave behind men less than 5 feet 7 inches tall. On the plateaus one comes across faces whose features have a distinctly European cast; others call to mind the Australian aborigines, and yet others the American Indians. Their hair, though generally sleek, is occasionally wavy and sometimes frizzy, Among the Sek a large number of men with reddi,sh-brown hair are observed. As a rule, a11 the tribes deny the ascendancy of the mother within the family structure, although the rice growers form an exception to this rule. This fact makes it inaccurate to attribute to all the mountain people the custom of migrating slowly within a confined area. The only characteristic common to these people seems to be their reluctance or inability to accept a hierarchy or authority ext-raneous to their own villages. For centuries, kingdoms or even confederations are found only very exceptionally in their history. -0-O-o- CHAPTER III 1. IN ANCIENT TIMES THE SETTING OF THE MPS AND THEIR RELATIONS WITH NEIGRBORING COUNTRIES Very little is known of Indochina in ancient times. The mountain people have no history, nor do they attach any importance to it, the notion of events being spread out in time being entirely foreign to them. Their Legends, altelough frequently picturesque, gives us virtually no insight into their distant past. A Mnong legend speaks of a flying man, and reference has already been made to traditional evi.dence that the Indonesians spent some time near the seashore, and to their advanced navigational skills.
24 -12- The legends barely spread beyond the immediate domain of the tribes; each group has its own but more often than not is ignorant of those of its neighbors. It is to the races with histories, the IIindus and above all the Chinese, that we must turn for clues as to how the mountain people now living on the plateaus of Indochina were led to settle there. Populated by Melanesians and later by Indonesians, ancient Indochina, to use the expression of both Hindu and Chinese l~istorians, was "inhabited by naked men," As Al.fred Fouclier poinls out, nakedness is not a measure of "savageness." These primitive tribes possessed '3 certain civilization tltat was not enlirezy unlike Lllat of pre-aryan India, Moreover, it is believed that these early inhabi.t:a~~ts maintained relations by sea not only wil:h India but also with the shore dwellers o.c the I'acili.c and with Indonesia. The relati.ons o.e the Il.i.~.idus witlz the Indochincse penillsula are the first 011 recol-d. rtvcn before the great: re.volutions of tha secoilcl century had driven the vanquished parties to what is called Outer India, tlindu ~itesclian~s cniiie to reconnoiter the coast of IndochFna. 'Cttey learned that i:he courltry prodttced spices, perfumed woods and resins, and above a1.l gold. Wc know t11al the counlries of Southeast Asi,~ were reputed to con- LLtin inexllaustibl e reserves or this metal., hence the name "Golden Chersonese.,,,i. Accordir~giy, the Iiindus set up tlading stations in the Mekong estu~jry and dlong the coast of Vietnam. Conversely, Indonesian traders frolit Indochinj. sailed to the shores of India and 1:oundecl small groups in some of the major ports, This sea-borne trading paved the way for the settlement of rrinctus along the Indochinese coast. They arrived at a time when the "great prellis toric migrations of the Melanesians, Pndonesians and Austro-Asians ;'<Old word for peninsula,.era11 the Creek: chersos - dry; and ngsos - island.
25 had come to an end," in other words, after the Indonesians had become established along the coast of the Indochinese peninsula. Trade and the quest for luxury articles, intensified by the creation of the Empire of Alexander the Great, caused the Hindus to press on into Southeast Asia, which extends from Burma to the islands of Indonesia and to China. The rise of Buddhism, the struggles, and particularly the weakening of the caste system which ensued, gave added impetus to Hindu migrations toward Indochina. 3. FIRST I-IINDU SETTLEMENTS AND THEIR EFFECTS The Hindus settled chiefly near the estuary of the Mekong River. It was here that they had their trading posts. What they brought with then1 dm the way of art, culture and language had practically no influence on the local inhabitants, but, simply for the sake of their business, the Hindus were unable to put up with the particularism and anarchy of these tribes, From these trading posts they promulgated their political views and their conception of royalty. It is not known today whether the people merely offered no resistance, whether they actively sought to elect a I-iindu leader (as would appear to have been the case with the Brahman Kaundinya, founder of Funan), or whether for that matter the settlers gave their backing to an influential local notable who subsequently consolidated his poaion by adopting the Hindu faith; the fact remains, however, that the first kingdom, or rather the first confederation of scattered principalities, was formed in this way in the 2nd century of the Christian era: it was Funan, 4. FUNAN Funan was the name given by the Chinese to what we now call Cambodia. In addition to the lake region, it appears to have included present-day Cochin-China, that is, the alluvial land of the Mekong delta, where rice growing was possible.