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Rhadé

Rhadé

The Rhadé (E-De, E Dê, Raday) are a group in the southern highlands of Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia. The 1985 Vietnam census places the population at 194,710, an increase from the roughly 120,000 reported in the 1960s. In Vietnam, Rhadé is spelled "E Dê." Rhadé subgroups include the Rhadé Kpa, Rhadé M'dur, Rhadé A'dham, K'tul, Epan, Blo, K'ah, K'drao, and Hwing. Their language is Austronesian.

Rhadé villages consist primarily of longhouses arranged along paths, with kitchen gardens behind. Within the longhouses, each nuclear family has its own compartment with additional compartments for old people and for female members and their guests. Each village has a stand of bamboo that is considered sacred. Rice is the primary subsistence crop and is grown in upland swiddens, or, whenever possible, in paddy fields, with two annual harvests. Maize is the most important secondary crop grown along with vegetables in the longhouse gardens.

Prior to French rule, villages were autonomous and were the basic political units. They were generally self-governing until the French instituted a system based on districts and provinces. Villages were ruled by an alliance of families, formed in part through marriage. Descent is matrilineal, with matrisibs and two phratries. The head of each longhouse is a male, while women control the family property. Rhadé religion centers on a pantheon of deities and numerous rituals honoring the deities and spirits. The most important deities and rituals center on agriculture, especially the growing of rice.


Bibliography

Hickey, Gerald C. (1964). "Rhadé." In Ethnic Groups of Mainland Southeast Asia, edited by Frank M. LeBar, Gerald C. Hickey, and John K. Musgrave, 251-255. New Haven: HRAF Press.

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