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 Vietnam > Ethnic group in Vietnam  > The Ede People

The Ê-đê

 

The Ede have nearly 195,000 inhabitants concentrating in Darlac, south Gia Lai and western parts of Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces. The Ede are also called Rade, De, Kpa Adham, Krung, Klul, Dlierue, Blo, Epan. Mdhun and Bich. Ede language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian Group.

The Ede mainly practice cultivation on burnt-over land. The Bich alone cultivate rice in submerged fields with primitive farming methods such as using buffaloes to trample the fields instead of plough and using hoes to work the fields. Besides cultivation, the Ede also practice animal husbandry, hunting, gathering, fishing, basketry and weaving.
 

Dark indigo is the traditional color of Ede clothing. Their attire is often trimmed with colorful motifs. Ede women wear a skirt and vest and men wear loincloths. They like to wear cope, silver or bead ornaments. According to ancient principle, the Ede had to file six front teeth of their upper denture. Now, the young Ede people do not follow this practice.

In Ede society, matriarchy is prevailed. Women are the masters of their families. The children take the family name of the mother. The right of inheritance is reserved for daughters only. After marriage, the man comes to live at his wife's house. lithe wife dies and nobody among the wife's relatives replaces her position, the man will turn back his home and live with his sisters. Until he dies, he is buried among his maternal relatives' graves.

 

 

 

The Ede practice polytheism, so they retain many taboos and worships to pray for bumper harvests, health and avoiding misfortunes and losses. 

The Ede possess a rich and unique treasury of oral literature including myths, legends, lyrical songs, proverbs, in particular well-known khan (epics) with khan Dam San and khan Dam Kteh Mlan. The Ede like to sing, dance and play musical instruments. Their musical instruments comprise gongs, drums, flutes, pan-pipes and string instruments. Among them Ding nam is a very popular musical instrument of the Ede which is much liked by many people.

 

 

 

The Ede live in houses on stilts. The houses are generally elongated. The length depends on the number of inhabitants. Some houses are measured hundreds of meters. Structural framework has begun to appear as well as house built of wood or bamboo with thatched roof. In recent years, the houses are tending to divide into signaler constructions with sheet iron covered roofs. Each side of the house has a door. The entrance door faces the north or the road. The interior is divided into two parts. The main part, called Gah, containing the entrance door is reserved for receiving guests. The rest called Ok is divided into compartments, each for kitchen and for the couples. In each side also has a floor-yard. The yard lying in front of the entrance door is called guest yard. Anyone who wants to get in the house must pass this yard. The more prosperous the owner is, the more spacious and wider yard will be.