The Central Highlands of Vietnam are the abode of the
Degar people who not long ago lived in a world that they themselves evolved and sustained.
Long before Cambodia, Laos, or Vietnam became nations in the modern sense, the Degar people, known
collectively by the French word Montagnards, lived in this area. After the French
turned over government control to the Vietnamese, Montagnard independence was destroyed. The
separate Montagnard state was abolished, traditional lands were seized by ethnic Vietnamese, and
Montagnard languages were replaced by Vietnamese in the schools. Today the Degar people are in
danger of extinction after years of relentless repression and religious persecution
The main thrust of Montagnard Foundation, Inc. is to
bring specific human-rights grievances to the attention of the international communities. The
aims of Montagnard Foundation, Inc. is to identify areas for the improvement of the Degar people
both in terms of Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as per the
United Nations Charter for Human Rights and relative Covenants, with special emphasis on
non-violence and protection of Degar people; consequently, pressure the Vietnamese
authorities for their redress.
The following are
the answers to the most frequently asked questions by the
peoples who visited our web site. If you have any question
about our people or our organization, please feel free to send
Who are the Degar People?
The Degar people are the indigenous
people of the Central Highland of Vietnam for many
thousands of years. Originally
inhabitants of the coastal areas of the region, Degar people were
driven to the previously uninhabited mountainous areas by invading
Cham and Vietnamese beginning prior to the 9th century AD.
to read more.
Montagnard Dega, or Degar, are they
different group of people?
the French word refers to our people during their colonization of our
lands from 1895-1954.
The Degar is the combination of two words: DE
= Dega people and
GAR = all tribes . The word
Degar refers to all Dega people. The word of Dega and
Degar refer to the same people. However, Dega literally means the Sons of
the Mountains, Degar means all the Children of the Mountains.
..more on same topic...
Please tell me
when and why MFI uses the word "DEGAR" to refer to your people.
My Degar friend tells me that "DEGA" or "DEGAR" is refering to same
people. The VN people use DEGA because most of the VN people can't
say DEGAR with sound "R" since their language don't have word ending
with "R" ?
Theoretically, DEGAR or
DEGA is a name referring to same people.
DEGA was first used in 60s and 70s, but was not widely accepted
because the word sometimes offended members of other tribes; since
DEGA is derived from Ede Ga, a name the Ede people
called themselves. However, DEGA was a bit more accepted during the
80s and 90s. Nevertheless, during the French colonization, the
name DEGAR was used in the regions of our territory to refer to our
people. Montagnard Foundation adopted the name DEGAR in 1993 and
today is used internationally in documents and other political arena.
Historically, the word AR, GAR derived from other group
names, such as, BahNAR, MnongGAR, R'deGAR, or
Our race now is accepted by the world as a distinct
people of Indochina, Indigenous people; so is the identity of our
people; the name we call ourselves must reflect what we are.
DEGA name sometimes is an
amusing word to some people when you refer DEGA in plural term,
DEGAS. Degas is mistaken with a name of a French artist, Degas
Edgar ( 1834 - 1917, Paris) He was well known as the master of
drawing the human figure in motion.
Degas also means "releasing gas" or
in Vietnamese "xì hơi ". On the contrary, the word DEGAR can be written in
singular or plural.
In the pass we were so quickly to accept what people
called us or referred us. It's time that we call ourselves
what is acceptable to us. If it is up to the Vietnamese they
rather refers to our race as the minorities or moi (savage).
In Vietnamese language their is no word that end with strong R sound
like Degar language, so they pronounce GA instead of GAR.
..more on same topic...
What is Montagnard Foundation, Inc.?
Montagnard Foundation, Inc, is a non-profit organization solely
dedicated to the advancement of the universal human rights of the
Degar people, also known as Montagnard, who are the indigenous people
of Central Highland of Vietnam. Based in South Carolina, USA
Montagnard Foundation, Inc., was formed to protect the Montagnards/Degars
still in the Central Highland of Vietnam and to preserve their
What is the purpose of the Montagnard
The main thrust of Montagnard Foundation, Inc. is to bring specific
human rights grievances to the attention of the international
communities; consequently, pressure the Vietnamese authorities for
has Montagnard Foundation, Inc. accomplished to date?
Montagnard Foundation, Inc.
activities include, among others: Various communication efforts to
raise the awareness world community about the atrocities committed
against the Degar people including property damages, murders. We have
voiced our concerns in person with the United Nation. We will
continue our awareness-raising efforts by meeting with more world
leaders. Spearheaded a petition drive to urge the the United Nations'
human rights organization to:
Strongly condemn the
human rights violations by the Vietnamese
Vietnamese government to participated in international meeting
properties back to the Degar people.
Since the large
scale of demonstrations of Degar people in early year of 2001 and
on Easter of 2004, Montagard Foundation, Inc. has been working very
hard to bring awareness of Degar people's struggle for their right
to the attention of the international communities.
check our latest press release to see more about MFI up to date
I have a friend who came from Laos, and he
considered himself a Montagnard, so what is the different
between his Montagnard and your Montagnard?
When Indochina was
under France control, the French referred to all people who live
in the highland as Montagnards, which means Highlanders. Highlanders,
which include Hmong, Nung, Man, Meo etc. in the northern part of
Indochina were referred as Peuple Montagnards du Nord-Indochinois (PMNI,
Montagnard Populations of the North). Highlanders, which
include all the Montagnard people in region southern part of
Indochina were known as Peuple Montagnards du Sud-Indochinois (PMSI,
Montagnard Populations of the South). However, each one of
these Montagnard group is different race. Northern Montagnard, like
the Vietnamese, were Chinese's Ethnic Minorities immigrated from
southern part of China. Nevertheless, Montagnard people in the
southern part of Indochina are the Indigenous people of this region.