The Kreung
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The Kreung

Hunter-gatherers

Hunter-gatherers

Kreung, as Brao and Kavet living in the same are, are minority indigenous tribes inhabiting the northeastern Cambodian province of Ratanakiri and adjacent Laos.
Snapshot

Snapshot

  • Region is Southern Asia

  • Climate here is Tropical

  • The challenge here is Medium

  • This trip has been rated 5 by other travelers

Life

Life

The Keung cultivate a variety of plants: the main crop is dry or upland rice and they are grown using the slash-and-burn method. Hunting, fishing, and gathering supplement foods.
Home

Home

Most Kreung live in scattered temporary villages that have only a few hundred inhabitants. Villages are made up of a ring of stilted huts, disposed around a central meeting house. Houses are constructed of bamboo and can vary from huge multifamily longhouses to small single-family structures. They may be built close to the ground or on stilts. Another huts, a love huts, is constructed when daughters reach the age of thirteen. Love huts are traditionally constructed with dry leaves, conical roof and built on poles.

Culture

Social Structure

Kreung tribe is matrilineal descendent. Villages are usually are governed by a council of local elders or by a village headman. The family is utmost important for them: women have the responsibility for child care, carrying water and looking after the domestic animals. They gather food and weave as well. Men use to do hunting and the most heavy agricultural tasks.

Religion

Kreung tribe are animist. Each village will have a religious leader, who are spirit healers who lead ceremonies to cure illness and other physical and mental problems.

Traditions

In the Kreung tribe, attachment to virginity never existed. Tradition has it that a girl's parents build a sort of hut, and this cabin will be used to receive several suitors to "try". The girl is then a teenager and she must find her ideal partner for life. Several boys will be received in this cabin until the girl chooses one. This tradition has lasted for centuries: divorces are rare.

If a girl get pregnant, he did not compel the girl to marry his father. It will be adopted without drama by the one she has chosen and who has shown his love.

A large number of Kreung would practice traditional medicine too.

Language

Although they are part of Mon-Khmer language group, they do not speak Khmer language but a specific dialect.

Art

Music is a major form of entertainment and is often used for religious purpose.

The construction of bamboo huts has to be count as an artistic expressions for Kreung people.

The use of bamboo for weaving is an activity performed by women and old people of the villages.

Celebrations

Festivals are traditionally held to make the spirits happy and exorcise evil spirits.

Life-cycle events such as birth, puberty, marriage, and death, are celebrated by families and villages.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

Love hut custom is weakened. For example, the highlands of northeastern Cambodia actually see the marital traditions of the Kreung tribe disappear. The region is experiencing significant immigration from the Khmer Plains. These bring with them the facilities of technology and modernity but also very different marital conceptions. For Kreung culture, women must be virgins and do not have
the freedom to choose who they marry. An evolution, in this area, that will turns huts of love more into tourist attractions.

Electricity and running water are not common in the area.


Ancient temple ruins, North Cambodia
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Elderly Cambodian woman
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Woman weaves a roof
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Woman planting rice
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Angkor Thom in Cambodia
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Bamboo hut in Cambodia
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