Ro mam ethnic group
Name of ethnic group: Ro Mam. Population: 301 people (Year 1999). Locality: The Ro Mam live in Le Village, Mo Rai Commune, Sa Thay District of Kon Tum Province.
Customs and habits
The village of the Ro Mam is called a "de". It is headed by an old chief. Each family is comprised of 10-20 people of various generations who have blood ties and who live under the same roof. Each nuclear family forms its own economic unit. The Ro Mam's matrimonial rites are performed in two steps, the engagement phase and wedding phase. Several days after the wedding, a young couple may divorce. However, once they have lived together for a long time they are not allowed to divorce. When a person dies, their body is placed in the cemetery. The cemetery is always located at the west end of the village.
The Ro Mam language belongs to the Mon-Khmer Group Rituals and ceremonies are usually held during the production cycle from the start of the slashing of the field until the land is set on fire, and eventually when the rice is brought to the house. These communal village activities have been preserved to the present day.
Women wear skirts and short sleeved shirts. The skirts are made from coarse cloth without decorations, and they fall down below their knees. Men wear loincloths, where the front flap hangs over their knees and the back flap falls below their shins. Women like to wear earrings, bracelets, and necklaces made from glass beads.
The Ro Mam survive mainly from slash-and-burn cultivation, hunting, and gathering. Sticky rice is their staple food.