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  Maps » Kom tum

Kontum Central Highland Province of Vietnam

Kontum is on Central Highlands. It shares border with Laos, Cambodia, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Gia LaiProvinces. Kontum is 246km from Buon Ma Thuot, 215km from Quy Nhon, 49km from Pleiku. Annual average temperature is 23.4ºC. Coming to Kontum, visitors enjoy mountainous landscapes and beautiful wooden stilt houses in Ba Na villages and Communal House (Nha Rong) that only be found in villages on the north of the Central Highlands.

Kon Tum Highlights: 

 Ba Na Village

Location: Ba Na Village is in the Central Highlands, Kon Tum Province.
Characteristics: Ba Na Village has many beautiful wooden stilt houses. The staircases leading to the houses are made from tree trunks; each step meticulously chiselled by the skilled Ba Na men. There are several Ba Na minority sub groups living in Kon Tum, or more generally in the Central Highlands, including the Ba Na Kon Tum, Ba Na Go La, and Ba Na Na Ko. Each group resides in a different area.The Ba Na ethnic group was the first among the minorities of the Central Highlands to write and to use buffaloes and cows to plough their fields. Nevertheless, their lifestyle has remained primitive. The Ba Na is nationally famous for their hunting skills. Like other ethnic minorities, the Ba Na people keep fires burning in the middle of their houses. Family members and friends sit around the fire to drink, eat, and talk. The fire also keeps the house warm.Men sometimes have a scar on their chest. It is a result of a wound their inflict to themselves with fire in sign of sorrow when one of their close relatives die. 

Communal House (Rong House)

Location: The Rong House can only be found in villages to the north of the Central Highlands, especially in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.
Characteristics: It is a large, imposing, beautifully decorated stilt house built in the middle of the village. It is where community activities take place, reception of guests, meetings, wedding ceremonies, or praying ceremonies. It is also the place for reception of guests. The Rong House of each ethnic group has its own architectural style, design, and décor. Yet there are shared features. In the village, it is often the biggest house roofed with yellow-dried gianh leaves and having 8 big wood columns. The rafters are decorated with patterns of bright colours, depicting religious scenes, legendary stories about ancient heroes, stylized animals, and other familiar things of the village life. The most salient feature of the décor of the Rong House is the image of the brilliant God of Sun.

The Rong House is a symbol of the culture of Central Highlanders, an age-old and stable culture. The bigger the house, the wealthier the village is. It is a pride of the whole village.

Tay Nguyen Grave House

Location: Tay Nguyen Grave House is located in the Central Highlands, Kon Tum Province.
Characteristics: According to aged old customs of ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands, after the burial of the deceased they grave to shelter the grave from rain and sunshine. The hut is usually stocked with personal belongings of the deceased. Two or three years later, family members of the deceased are going to remove the hut and build a new, bigger wooden house there. In addition, the grave is to have meticulous decorations. The grave house is surrounded with a wooden fence within there is a wooden statue resembling a human being, a bird or an animal. The practice of removing the makeshift hut is usually organized in the spring and is considered a festive day. The ritual is called Le Bo Ma (Leaving-the-grave). In this day villagers are gathered at the cemetery ground and the family members bring food offerings including rice-distilled rice, rice, cooked pork and other meat. After the offerings are given to the deceased, villagers are to sing songs, dance and enjoy the drink and the food taken down from the altar. They have the belief that the deceased has returned to join the feast with those alive.

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