The Khmer Loeu are the Mon-Khmer highland tribes of Cambodia, living around Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces. The major Khmer Loeu groups in Ratanakiri is the Tampuan.
Most of the photographs below are from the Tampuan group from different communities near the Varichaey National Park but some were taken around Banlung, the capital of the province of Ratanakiri.
Most Khmer Loeu live in scattered temporary villages that have only a few hundred inhabitants. These villages usually are governed by a council of local elders or by a village headman. Rice wine is very popular in every communal reunion or celebration usually consumed by men while tobacco is smoked by almost everyone! I was in shock seeing girls not older than 12 smoking a pipe. In fact, it was difficult to spot someone who wasn’t smoking. When tobacco is not smoked from a pipe, its rolled inside green leaves forming a conical shaped big cigarette. Children were experts at rolling these!
The Khmer Loeu cultivate a wide variety of plants, but the main crop is dry or upland rice grown by the slash-and-burn method. Hunting and fishing, supplements the cultivated vegetable foods in the Khmer Loeu diet. Houses vary from huge multifamily longhouses to small single-family structures. They may be built close to the ground or on stilts.