Bahnar people

The Bahnar or Ba-Na (Vietnamese pronunciation: [βəna:]) are an ethnic group of Vietnam living primarily in the Central Highland provinces of Gia Lai and Kon Tum, as well as the coastal provinces of Bình Định and Phú Yên. They speak the Bahnar language that belongs to the Mon–Khmer language family.

Múa xoang.jpg
Bahnar women dancing
Total population
≈ 400,000+
Regions with significant populations
 United States~ 10,000
 France~ 5.000
Related ethnic groups
Sedang, Jarai
Bana Cathedral in Kon Tum


The word bahnar is similar to the phnom (ភ្នំ) in Mon-Khmer language what means mountain. Besides, they have many names as Bmon, Jolong, Rongao, Tolo, Krem, Roh, Kon Kde, Ala Kong, Kpang Kong, Krang...



Epics (Bahnar language: H'amon) such as Dam Noi represent centuries-old aspirations of Banar people.

Like many of the other ethnic groups of Vietnam's Central Highlands, the Bahnar play a great number of traditional musical instruments, including ensembles of pitched gongs and string instruments made from bamboo. These instruments are sometimes played in concert for special occasions, which may also involve ceremonial Rượu cần (rice wine) drinking and group dancing.

A Bahnar rong (communal house) in the village of Kon Kotu.


  • Koh Kpo (or Groong Kpo Tonơi): a festival to express gratitude toward Yang (the god) with the main activity being the stabbing of a water buffalo. A possible Chamic reconstruction of this name would be 'Gleng Ka Ppo Tanguei' 'Dedication to the God of the Corn.' Contemporary Bahnar refer to this ceremony as the even more truncated 'Gong Kpo.'

Notable personsEdit

  • Dinh Nup, a hero who led villagers to carry out a war of resistance against the French colonial regime. He became the main character of a famous novel entitled Đất nước đứng lên ("Country rising up"), written by Nguyên Ngọc
  • Ya Dok, a heroine, the wife of Nguyễn Nhạc
  • Siu Black, popular singer

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Report on Results of the 2019 Census". General Statistics Office of Vietnam. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  • Bùi Minh Đạo. 2011. The Bahnar people in Viet Nam. Hanoi: World Publishers. ISBN 978-604-77-0319-7
  • Đào Huy Quyền. 1998. Nhạc khí dân tộc Jrai và Bahnar [Musical instruments of the Jrai and Bahnar]. Hanoi: Nhà xuất bản trẻ.
  • Bahnar language page at Ethnologue site