Pnong people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Pnong)
Jump to: navigation, search
Bunong
Total population
(37,500 [1])
Regions with significant populations
Cambodia : Mondulkiri
Languages
Pnong
Religion
Animist (majority), Roman Catholic, Theravada Buddhism
Related ethnic groups
Khmer Loeu, Khmers
For the town Bunong, see Bar Kham.

The Pnong (alternatively Bunong and other spelling) are an aboriginal Cambodian minority ethnic group, they found primarily in Mondulkiri province of Cambodia. The Pnongs are the largest indigenous highland ethnic group in Cambodia. They have their own language called Pnong, which belongs to Bahnaric branch of Austroasiatic languages. Majority of Pnong people are animists, but a minority of them follows Roman Catholicism and Theravada Buddhism. The Pnongs are considered as Khmer Loeu or Montagnard, which is the collective name given to the various indigenous ethnic groups residing in the highlands of Cambodia.

Language[edit]

Pnong language (sometimes spelled 'Mnong') is the native language of the Pnong people. It is a member of Bahnaric branch of Austroasiatic languages and is distantly related to Khmer and other Khmer Loeu languages (exclude Jarai and Rade which speaks an Austronesian language closely related to Cham). There are several dialects of Pnong, some even recognised as a distinct language by linguists, most Pnong dialects are spoken in neighbouring Vietnam, except for Kraol which is spoken within Cambodia.

Culture[edit]

Dialium cochinchinense (velvet tamarind) or Kalagn in Mnong is part of Pnong traditional medicine. The tree is native to Mondulkiri Province where it is threatened by habitat loss.

The Pnong practices a very diverse, dynamic, unstructured and often secretive traditional medicine. Originally tied to the large biodiversity of their forest environment, the warring of the 1970'ies had a significant impact on the Pnong culture and knowledge of traditional medicine, when everybody relocated to either Vietnam or Koh Niek district. New plants and practices was acquired by the Pnong in these new locations, but upon returning in the 1980s and 1990s, knowledge and use of plants native to their homelands had been forgotten by many. Adequate conventional biomedicine and healthcare can be difficult or impossible to obtain by the locals in the countryside of Cambodia - in particular during the rainy season -, and it is therefore official policy of the Cambodian government (backed by the WHO) to support the practice of traditional medicines. Research shows that, as of 2011, 95% of the inhabitants in two Pnong villages still regularly use medicinal plants. It is hoped that the Pnong culture of traditional medicine can help to build respect for the environment and halt the deforestation and habitat loss of Cambodia on a local level.[2]

Pnong in the media[edit]

A Pnong woman, thought to be Rochom P'ngieng, was discovered after presumably spending 19 years alone in the jungle.[1]

Other works about the Bunong include "Living on the margins", the publications of Nomad RSI, the documentary film Last of the Elephant Men, and the works of Frédéric Bourdier.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2008 Cambodian census
  2. ^ Savajol et.al (2011). "Traditional Therapeutic Knowledge of the North-eastern Cambodia Healers, their practices and medicinal plants". Nomad Recherche et Soutien International. 

External links[edit]