All posts tagged: Cambodia Ratanakiri Highlander Krung Tampun Banlung

The Highlanders of Ratanakiri – Cambodia

  The following are my on-location field notes from December 2015. I travelled with a Krung guide into the forest, he introduced me to the highlanders and translated all interviews. 66% of the people in the furthest northeast of Cambodia, called Ratanakiri, are indigenous people: the main tribes are Brao (Krung), Jarai, Tampun.   The “forest people”, also called “highlanders”, “tribal people”, or “minorities” are actually the majority of Ratanakiri, a very rich province. The Khmer Rouge wanted the highlanders to assimilate, they relocated many of them during their rampage years. The Khmer Rouge wanted the tribes to leave their backward system and begin regular field agriculture, to become rice farmers and contribute to society. The indigenous people were also forced to learn and speak Khmer. In the 80ies the local/tribal people moved to the roads and the “city people” moved to the highlands – to do logging, built plantations and do gold and precious stone mining. The land was given away as concessions to people and companies – for exploitation. The ethnic minorities were …

Gem Stone Miners in Cambodia

Once the forest is chopped off and sold, the land is used for heavy mono-culture farming by foreign and local investors. Ratanakiri translates into “the Gem Mountain” – mining for semi-precious stones has been done here for more than 40 years.