"Khmer Loeu" Khett Rotanah Kiri Off The Beaten Path Tip by aukjejetty

  Old Lady in Ratanakiri Province
by aukjejetty

Trekking through the province you may encounter many different non-Khmer (hill)tribes, called Khmer Loeu (literaly "Highland Khmer"). Besides Ratanakiri province, Khmer Loeu live also in Stung Treng, and Mondulkiri provinces. In the last and in Ratanakiri province they form the majority population.

Some of these tribes are related to Khmer, but they also have very different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The tribe we spent part of the day with spoke a language not related to Khmer, and therefor even more difficult to understand if you have learned some Khmer along the way. My partner who speaks Khmer could not understand their language.

The major Khmer Loeu groups in Cambodia are the Kuy, Mnong, Stieng, Brao, Pear, Jarai, and Rade. All but the last two speak Mon-Khmer languages.

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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