Name of ethnic group: Ra Glai (Ra Glay, Krai, Orang Glai, No-Ana, and La Vang).
Population: 96,931 people (Year 1999).
Locality: Mainly in the southern regions of Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces.
Customs and habits
The Ra Glai believe there is a spiritual world known as “Giang” that includes good and evil forces. They traditionally live in stilted houses. The pa-lay is headed by a po pa-lay (a village chief who is generally the first landowner). Matriarchy remains in existence in Ra Glai society, as the children take the family name of their mother. If a young woman wants to marry a young man, she will first ask her parents if they can prepare the wedding ceremony. During the marriage process, the bride’s younger brother has a fairly important say in the decision making.
The Ra Glai language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian Group. After the harvest season, all villagers gather to pay thanks to Giang and to enjoy the new rice harvest.
Formerly the Ra Glai simply grew rice and maize using slash-and-burn farming techniques. They also developed wet rice agriculture. Hunting, picking, gathering, and making handicrafts are other forms on income generation.