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You are here:      Home Information Ethnic Minority

The Bahnar (also spelled Ba Na) are an ethnic group of Vietnam living primarily in the Central Highland provinces of Gia Lai and Kon Tum, as well as the coastal provinces of Binh Thuan. They speak a language in the Mon-Khmer language family.

Like many of the other ethnic groups of Vietnam's Central Highlands, the Bahnar play a great number of traditional musical instruments, including ensembles of pitched gongs and string instruments made from bamboo.

Epics (Bahnar language: h'amon) such as Dam Noi represent centuries-old aspirations of Banar people.

Notable Bahnar

  • Dinh Nup, a hero who led villagers to carry out a war of resistance against the French colonial regime. He became the main character of a famous novel entitled Dat Nuoc Dung Len ("Country rising up"), written by Nguyen Ngoc
  • Ja Dok, a heroine, the wife of Nguyn Nhac and Siu Black, popular singer

Koh Kpo (or Groong Kpo Tonoi): a festival to express gratitude toward Yang (the God) with the main activity being the stabbing of a water buffalo.

The Bahnaric languages are a group of about thirty Mon-Khmer languages spoken by about 700,000 people in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Internal diversity suggests that the family broke up about 3000 years ago.


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