Pear people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Pear people (cartoons).
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Animist, Theravada Buddhism

The Pear people (/ˈpɛər/; from [ˈpɛə]; also Por, Samré, Samray, Chong) are an indigenous group living a sparse existence after years of conflict in Cambodia and Thailand.[1]


Pears call themselves: Samré in Pursat Province; Samray in Battambang; Chong and Chong-Samré in the Trat Province of eastern Thailand; and Chong la and Chong heap, in Chanthaburi Province, Thailand.

In the Pear communities in Preah Vihear Province, Pear population was estimated to be 299 households (1,674 persons) in 2002.

According to the Pear Samray people of Kranhung, the Kulen hill region's Samray survived because of emigration in the days of the Angkor kingdom. After the 1967 revolt of Samlaut, Pear of Stung Kranhung area moved to Ta Sanh.[2]

While some Sa'och live in Cambodia's coastal area,[3] the Sa’och of the Kampong Som area fled from the Khmer kingdom and went to Trat Province, Thailand. The Sa’och are a mystery as they are racially different (Negroid) from other Pear groups but speak the same dialect. Because of their negroid features, Sa'och were sometimes called ‘people with tails’ in the Khmer language. Martin speculates the Sa’och inhabited the higher areas and the Samré the lower slopes and flatter areas before the arrival of Khmer from Champassak in about the 6th century.

Like the Sa'och, the Chong are Pear who live in Thailand's neighboring Trat Province and also Chanthaburi Province.

The Pear cultivate upland rice by the swidden method.

They follow traditional religions.

As of 2014, the indigenous Chong people in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia are seeking to prevent construction of the Cheay Areng Dam, which would displace local residents.[4]


Main article: Pearic languages

The people speak the endangered group of Pearic languages. Gérard Diffloth (1992) states that the language and customs of the Pear are radically different from other social groups in Cambodia.


  1. ^ Jeremy Ironside; Ken Sereyrotha. "International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, Indigenous Peoples Conservation Committee" (PDF). Open-ended Adhoc Working Group on Protected Areas United Nations Convention Biodiversity. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Overview of the distribution of Pear (Por) people in Cambodia". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Cambodia Home of World Heritage". Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  4. ^ Mam, Kalyanee (2014-10-19). "Will Cambodia Flood a Sacred and Biodiverse Valley for a Dubious Dam?". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Brunet, J. The Mouth Organ Among the Samre of the Cardamom Mountains. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Society for Asian Studies, 1969.
  • Ironside, J., 2005. Overview of the History and Distribution of Pear (Por) Groups in Cambodia. Ministry of Land Management/GTZ/FFI, Phnom Penh.