The Montagnard people are the traditional custodians of Vietnam. The name Montagnard is the French term for ‘people of the mountain’.
In 2015, I traveled to a province in the Central Highlands called KonTum, where I was fortunate to have met a Bahnar woman named Banh, who generously took me under her wing and shared her world and culture with me. Banh is a remarkable woman who navigates between Vietnamese and Montagnard life.
In the District of KonTum there are seven main tribes; Sêdăng, Bahnar, J’rai, Jeh_ Triêng, Rơmâm, Brâu, S’drá, and further out are smaller tribes. Whilst living with Bahn for two months, I painted a series of small portrait studies of the local tribes people, which I hope to return to and develop further. In this series there are also portraits of Vietnamese people.