The Ede ethnic group

(VOVworld) – The Ede ethnic group live mostly in Vietnam’s central and central highlands region. Their traces are reflected in epics, architecture, fine-arts and folklore. Ede families are still matriarchal. 

The Ede are the 12th most populous of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, totaling 330,000. They live Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen province. The Ede language belongs to the Cham and the Malayo-Polynesian language group. Originally, the Ede moved to Vietnam’s central region and then to the central highlands between the 8th century and the 15th century. Their house on stilts has the shape of a long boat, whose length is from 15 to 100 meters. Whenever a girl living in a house gets married, the house is lengthened by one compartment. Doctor of Ethnology Luu Hung told VOV: “The longhouse reflects many cultural aspects of the Ede, who practice matrilineal descent. Images of female breasts are carved on the wooden staircase of the house’s gable front which faces the north and on the wooden pillars inside the house. House utensils also vividly demonstrate the matriarchy”. 

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The Ede's long house (Photo:

The head of the family is always a woman. Children bear their mother’s surname and sons are not entitled to an inheritance. The groom moves to his wife’s house to live. Daughters inherit the ancestors’ assets. The youngest daughter inherits the house to continue worshipping the ancestors and is responsible for looking after her aging parents. The opening of the windows of a house signals that its female owner has gotten married.

Previously, the Ede were engaged in hunting, fishing, farming, knitting and weaving. Now they practice the alternation of crops and plant industrial trees like coffee, rubber, pepper and cacao. Some raise buffaloes, cows, and elephants. Ede handicraft items include cloth, bronze, wooden and pottery products and jewelry.

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The traditional costumes of the Ede (Photo:

Like many other ethnic groups in the central highlands, the Ede worship multiple Gods, including the Gods of Thunder, Mountains, Rivers and Forests. They believe every thing from the grass to a house or a gong has a soul. Nguyen Tru, a researcher of Central Highlands culture, told us: “The rivers and mountains, has created the Ede culture. They thank their ancestors and the Gods of Mountains and Forests for what they have now. That’s why their gong musical pieces evoke the magnificence of nature”.

Many traditional Ede festivals are still maintained, including the buffalo stabbing festival, the house warming ritual, and the adulthood ceremony. The Ede boast their rich folklore, which has been passed down orally. Their myths, fairy tales, proverbs and Khan Dam San and Khan Dam Keth M’lan epics are famous throughout Vietnam. Their popular musical instruments are gongs, bamboo flute, pan-pipe, and a wind instrument called a Dinh Nam.