Name of Ethnic Group: Ma (Chau
Ma, Ma Xop, Ma To, Ma Krung, and Ma Ngan).
Population: 26,000 people.
Locality: Lam Dong
Customs and Habits: The Ma live
in bons (villages). Each bon is comprised of five to ten elongated
houses. The chief of a bon is called the quang bon. The family
of a young man proposes marriage, but after the wedding the groom comes
to live in his wife's house. Only when he has enough wedding presents
to hand over to the bride's family can he take his wife to his house.
The Ma believe in the existence of spirits in the river, the mountains,
and the rice field.
Culture: The Ma language
belongs to the Mon-Khmer Group. They possess a rich folklore including
many ancient tales, myths, and legends. Their musical instruments consist
of gongs, drums, pan-pipes with bamboo-boxes, horns, bamboo string zithers,
and three-holed bamboo flutes.
Costumes: The women
wear skirts that fall below their knees and the men wear loincloths.
They also file their teeth, stretch their earlobes, and wear a lot of
Economy: The Ma cultivate
rice, corn, and cotton. Ma women are very skilled at cloth making. They
are also very skillful at forging.|