Ratanakiri Province, in the northeastern. mountainous corner of cambodia, is known for its ethnic diversity. Peppered across the jungles and mountains are the tribes of Jarai, Kreung, Tampuan, Cham, Poy, Kachon, Kachok, Lao and others. Below are photos from some of the villages which I explored in the forests north of the capital, Ban Lung.
A totem in a tribal cemetery.
Stilt homes in a Poy village. The design protects the home from flooding and provides shelter for farm animals underneath.
An iconic bachelor hut in a Poy village.
The communal meeting house. Note the decorative crossbars on the roof and intricate woven patterns on the walls. Such meeting houses are central to virtually all tribes in the region, though their architectural styles and decorations vary greatly. The Bahnar rong houses of neighboring Vietnam are perhaps the most extreme examples.
A tribal home with decorative crossbeams.
Buffalo bits roasted on a fire.
A ceremonial 'tree,' central to a 'buffalo-stabbing festival.' More of a private party, the ceremony is a classic part of most ethnic minority cultures found in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Bamboo poles are decorated with wooden and woven grass ornaments. Animals (usually a buffalo, but not always) are tied to the posts and ceremonially slaughtered as an offering to gods. Part of the buffalo hide is seen here hanging on the left post. The ceremony is a sort of thanksgiving, often for a successful harvest. The ceremony is accompanied with music (typically gongs and gourd or string instruments), and drinking copious amounts of rice wine in jars.
Other posts with photos of buffalo-stabbing trees.
Other posts with photos of ethnic minorities in Vietnam and Cambodia.
My story about rice wine (ruou can) culture in Vietnam.