The Bahnar (also spelled Ba Na) 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 a language in the Mon–Khmer language family.

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


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.



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

Notable Bahnar

  • 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
  • Ja Dok, a heroine, the wife of Nguyễn Nhạc
  • Siu Black, popular singer


  • 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.'


  1. ^ "The 2009 Vietnam Population and Housing Census: Completed Results". General Statistics Office of Vietnam: Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee. June 2010. p. 134. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  • Bùi Minh Đạo. 2011. The Bahnar people in Viet Nam. Hanoi: Thế Giới 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.

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