Stieng ethnic group
The Xtieng ethnic group has more than 67,000 people. The majority of the Xtieng people live in Binh Phuoc province, some in Dong Nai and Tay Ninh. Two local groups of Xtieng can be distinguished: Bu Dek and Bu Lo. The Bu Dek group lives in the lower area and knows how to farm in water and use buffaloes and cows to toil and moil for a long time. The Bu Lo group lives higher on the mountain and deeper in the forest, thus, they only work on terraced fields. They living close to the Mnong and the Ma people. The Xtieng ethnic group is also known as the Xa Dieng. The Xtieng language belongs to the Mon-Khmer language group.
Nowadays, the Xtieng people in many places have settled down, private homes are becoming more common. In higher elevations, the Xtieng live in houses built directly on the ground, covered with roofs that almost touch the floor. In lower elevations, the Xtieng live in magnificent stilt houses. The Dieu family name is common throughout the Xtieng region. Xtieng village has a tradition of self-governance, headed by an old man knowledgeable in customs, of great prestige, resourcefulness, and often the rich man of the village. Wealth is calculated by assets such as buffalo, cow, gong, jar, jewelry rings, etc.
Usually boys between the ages of 19 and 20, girls between the ages of 15 and 17 will start looking for a mate. After the wedding ceremony, the bride returns to her husband’s house or the groom returns to his wife’s house.
Normally, men wore loin cloths, with no shirt; women wore shirts with wrapped skirts. In winter, people wear cloth to prevent the cold. The Xtieng people wear long hair in a bun at the nape of their neck, pierced earlobes to wear wooden or ivory earrings, and tattoo with simple patterns. All men, women, old and young love to wear all kinds of rings. Young children wear rattles on both ankles.
The Xtieng people believe in the mystical power of thunder, lightning, heaven, earth, moon, and sun. The divine nature and authority of the god are defined by the white sacrifice: white chicken, white pig, and white buffalo. People calculate their age according to the farming season.
The Xtieng people love music, the most commonly seen instrument is the gong. The gong is not played outside the house, except on the buffalo stabbing festival. Gongs are used in festivals, both in expressing feelings and in reconciliation between families. At the end of the dry season, people often play kite flying.
Cat Tien Holy Land
THE CULTURE OF INDIGENOUS ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: IN CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK, THERE ARE TWO INDIGENOUS ETHNIC COMMUNITIES, NAMELY THE MA AND THE STIENG, WITH TRADITIONAL LIVING FEATURES, A TYPICAL CULTURAL TREASURE SUCH AS BUFFALO STABBING FESTIVAL, UNIQUE STORIES, LEGENDS, TRADITIONAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL LIFE.
Cat Tien archaeological site: The archaeological site was discovered by chance in 1985. This is a large relic complex built mainly of bricks and stone and extends over 10 km along the left bank of Dong Nai river, distributed mainly in Quang Ngai commune and Dong Nai town, Cat Tien district, Lam Dong province. According to scientists, this may be a holy place with unearthed relics showing the architectural components of Hindu temples such as temples, tomb towers, etc. and metal artifacts of gold and copper with intricate carvings of the male gods, goddesses, gods Silva, cows, elephants, etc., k’lon boxes to store the cremated bones and ashes of the Brahmins. Ceramic and stone artifacts, especially Linga – Yoni statues, are delicately carved.
One of them, there is a set of statues confirmed to be the largest in Southeast Asia.