Name of ethnic group: Xtieng (Xa Dieng).
Population: 66,788 people (Year 1999).
Locality: The Xtieng live in four northern districts of Binh Phuoc Province and in Dong Nai and Tay Ninh provinces.
Customs and habits
The Xtieng live a sedentary lifestyle. Each family builds its own house. Each village is led by an elderly man who must be experienced in the affairs of the community, dynamic, and trusted by the villagers. The Xtieng can marry outside their lineage. After the wedding, the bride comes to live in her husband’s house. The Xtieng believe in animism and the mystical powers of thunder, lightning bolts, the heavens, and the earth. The Xtieng calculate their age according to the number of harvests that they have gathered.
The Xtieng language belongs to the Mon-Khmer Group. The Xtieng enjoy music and popular musical instruments, such as the six-patterned gong set. These gongs are made of bamboo panpipes.
Xtieng women wear skirts and the men wear loincloths. In winter, they cover themselves in blankets. The women wear their hair long and tie it in a bun at the back of their heads. They usually wear ivory earrings pierced into their earlobes, or tattoo their faces and body with simple motifs.
The Xtieng cultivate rice in submerged fields and have used oxen and buffaloes as draught animals for a long time.