Montagnards

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 9, 2003.

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    dap22
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    Montagnards
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    I remember going to Special Forces camps in the areas where Montagnards were...remember seeing the people and thinking that time had left them behind. I've been looking through my diary I kept in Vietnam for any mention I might have had concerning the Montagnyard people and have yet to find anything.
    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with Montagnards is the question???????????

    oneknight
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    Who were these people?

    nighthawk
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    While I was at HQ MACV, some SF guys came into the compound with a couple of Montagnards,,,the locals went ape-shit!! There is an intense hatred between the two peoples, I understand. The SFs had the Montagnards sleep in the motor pool, guarded by some US MP's, then got them out of town the next day.

    Stan H,, nighthawk


    LarryJK
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    (8/16/01 3:08:26 am)
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    I've never had any experience with Montagnards in Vn. I have seen some documentaries about them. I can't help but feel compassion for them. I think the one attribute that these people have is their loyalty that they had to the US forces. Time stood still for these people...at least prior to our involvement in Vn.

    homer4
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    Don't recall ever seeing them in the part of the Delta I served at Dave. Hoa Hao (religious sect) mostly and really not distinguishable by dress as the 'Yards' from the little bit of knowledge I have of them. Both had an intense hatred for the PLF / NLF tho.

    The odd peoples in our area and the further west you went the more you seen of them were Cambochia's...Cambodians. Some intense hatred there also.

    Looks like Americans aren't the only split society like Jackson and Sharpton and that crowd shout to the world.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    homer4
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    (8/16/01 4:21:06 am)
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    Sorry Dave...I got off track there. No Yards in my AO.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    high2fly
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    (8/16/01 5:33:47 pm)
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    Dave, in my story of Khe Sanh I wrote about the Monty children who was in the Marine camp Easter Sunday when I went with the Chaplain for services. I have pictures the the familes along with the little ones. If I can print them, I'll post them, but I can't, I'll print and mail them to you. I brought some Monty bows and arrows back with me and I donated them to the Seabee Museum at Port Hueneme, California. Gentle people--not too far out of the stone age I suppose. But it was another time we gallant Americans were not loyal to those unable to help themselves after they helped us--God only knows what may have happened to them. wilborn

    dap22
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    Thanks JW.............would love to see the pics....maybe Stan can give you a quick class on doing it........I still haven't gotten to that level either.
    I've been doing some research as to the welfare of the Montagnyard people and from what I've read....it's not good. The writer expected them to be extinct before long. You're very correct about America deserting the good people. And there were few more loyal to the Americans than the Montagnards.
    Read in my diary about a pickup we had near Song Be at a SF camp where a couple Montagnards had injuries.....ordinarily for indiginous Vietnamese we'd take them to the Vietnamese hospital in Saigon.......for Montagnards, we took them to the American hospital for treatment, knowing full well they'd receive either very poor or no treatment from the Vietnamese.

    Edited by: dap22 at: 8/16/01 7:30:28 pm

    Tac401
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    Re: Montagnards
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    Unfortunately the very best friend I've ever had
    is gone but he was SF and lived with the Montogyards
    SP?

    All I can say is what he related to me when he would
    open up enough to speak of it, some of the things he
    did say was that they were very loyal people and when
    his unit first arrived the yards didn't have any real basic
    sanitary habits, they would just squat and shit when the
    need arose, and there weapons were very primitive such
    as bows & arrows and such, he did say that once taught
    how to fight and do other things that they mastered it
    quickly.

    One thing I have heard is that if the leader of the village
    liked you he would give you a woman as a gift of his
    appreciation and to refuse was an insult so you had to
    endure lol!

    Most SF stationed with the yards in the begining usually
    even disguised themselves in atire as yards although
    height would almost always be a dead give away so I
    was told.

    All in all the yards were a kind and gentle people but
    some of the best wariors anyone could have asked
    for when needed.

    I often wonder if there are any of them that survived
    since they basically had no other friends or allies other
    than the U.S.G.I.

    JD
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    dap22
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    Boss.........good story about your friend and the yards. I hadn't heard the deal about a woman but hey, if she didn't look so bad......a good deal.....of course......uh...........
    I'm in the process of getting some info about the people and will post it as soon as I can get it together.............
    During my year in Vietnam I heard a whole lot about yards and never once then or since heard a bad word said about them. Faithful to a T and, as you say, fierce warriors. Of course the VC knew that and took every opportunity they could to mess with the yards.

    dreamcatcher27371
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    (8/16/01 7:33:23 pm)
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    Go to your web browsers and search for "Montagnards."
    There's quite a bit of information on them and some info on a current move by the SF community to help them. They're still giving the communists a hard time in Vietnam.

    Tac401
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    C'mon folks, how bout some of you copy & pasting
    some of that info here?

    My buddy was very upset the way they were
    abandoned, he always wondered what became
    of them.

    Here's to you Jay!

    JD
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    106RR196LIB
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    (8/16/01 8:16:07 pm)
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    I had no direct experience with them as my time in the Highlands was taken up by the NVA. I did serve at a little village named Tra Bong on the South China Sea.
    Tra Bong is both beautiful and violent. In 71/72 it was the scene of a racial slaughter of the Yards.
    They are family oriented in the extreme and will bring their wife and kids with them everywhere. Towards the end of the war, SF set up a base at Tra Bong. The yards stayed outside the wire with their families. There was little risk as the war was ending.
    The VC attacked in force and slaughtered them all. They tried to crawl through the wire to safety. Many were killed in the wire. Charley did not spare the children. The VC did not attempt to get inside, they killed the Yards and left. SF was helpless as the Yards were between the VC and the SF.
    Sad time for America and the Yards. If you get to California there is a star on the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial to commemorate the Tra Bong Massacre.
    Mike H

    homer4
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    (8/16/01 8:43:20 pm)
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    Good to see ya Mike!,have missed you postin Buddy. I personally with out trying to act silly saying it...have always been riveted to your posts. I find them to be a real peek at the 'Line Dog" Don't stay away too long.

    As to the 'Yards'...I had always assosciated them with II Corps mostly and that they weren't the people with the handsomest features...more of the local 'Indian' type. I've seen some pictures of them and found this to be true with my eyes but can't make that a blanket statement. Only my look-see into them.

    A close friend Ronnie Hagy, '101st' at Pleiku and Kontum spoke of them in a good light and he also said that as a people they were more rugged in appearance...somewhat darker too. Charlie Krepps and Bennie Drum, both Marines said similar as I recall in our conversations. Donnie Hartman, 75th Rangers had good things to say too.

    These guys were my best friends growing up in that little steel town Sparrows Point. Most of us hit the Nam.

    dreamcatcher27371
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    (8/16/01 9:05:06 pm)
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    Montagnards were sometimes referred to as:
    "America's most loyal allies in Vietnam"

    Those of us who served in and around the Central Highlands will probably never forget those mountain people. Their neatly arranged villages with hootches on stilts, their capital of Ban Me Thout, and their unique wares such as; Montagnard bracelets, woven fabrics and other handcrafted items.

    We knew back in 1971 that the Montagnards and the Vietnamese didn't get along. The Montagnards disliked the Vietnamese who in turn regarded the Montagnards as moi (savages).

    Tribes included the Hre, Rhade, Cham, Tuong, Mien, Jarai, Bahnar, Mnong, Sedang, Haland, Ragulai, Rongao, Bong, Nongao, Koho, Ma, Chil and Drung.


    ************

    Vietnam to Send Extra Police to Troubled Highlands

    July 17, 2001

    HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam's public security minister plans to send extra police to a province in the volatile Central Highlands, where members of minority hill tribes staged protests over land and religious rights in February and March.

    The official Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police) newspaper quoted Le Minh Huong on Tuesday as saying after an inspection tour that the police were needed in Kontum province as reinforcements, but gave no reason for the move.

    Huong urged the local police force to do a better job to solve "problems at grass-roots level" and prevent "sudden situations and hot spots in rural areas."

    Large numbers of minority hill people protested over land and religious rights in highland provinces in February and March in the worst unrest to hit communist Vietnam in years.

    The rattled authorities sent in large numbers of police and troops to restore order.

    The paper said Huong was told in Daklak and Gia Lai provinces that local authorities had stabilized the situation and defused "plots and activities of extremists who took advantages of religion and ethnic minority issues to cause disturbances."

    Former U.S. ambassador to Vietnam Douglas "Pete" Peterson, who left Vietnam on Sunday, gave a mixed report last week after making a fact-finding tour of the highlands. He said the provinces of Lam Dong and Daklak were "clearly focused" on finding solutions to problems caused by large-scale migration into ethnic minority areas and economic, social and political marginalization of indigenous people.

    He added that Gia Lai was following a "misguided" policy of focusing on security rather than such problems.

    Hundreds of minority people fled the crackdown to Cambodia and 38 were permitted to resettle in the United States, a decision that angered Hanoi. Around 400 remain in Cambodia.

    Hanoi has said they would not be punished if they returned under a U.N. voluntary repatriation plan, but U.S.-based activists who visited Cambodia on a fact-finding mission last week said they should not be sent back due to safety concerns.

    State media earlier this week quoted Prime Minister Phan Van Khai as telling a government meeting in Daklak province last week that more farm land and investment for ethnic minorities should be provided in the highlands.



    dreamcatcher27371
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    (8/16/01 9:07:36 pm)
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    The following story appeared in the October 1969 issue of TYPHOON magazine. The TYPHOON was published by First Field Forces Vietnam (IFFV) of the US Army Vietnam (USARV).

    Looking like their fathers of 1,000 years ago, the
    Montagnards are riding out of the past. They are sure that

    Their Time Has Come
    By 1LT Roy C. Russell

    In the Highlands near Gia Nghia, lives a pretty Montagnard girl, lithe with delicate features and black hair that streams out over the back seat of her jeep when she lets it blow in the wind. If you are a friend, she calls you grandson (though she is only 27), and she will get you discount prices on Ba Muoi beer at the local bar.

    But say the Montagnards are savages, and the flash in her eyes says she would like to come at you with anything from a M16 to a crossbow. Say they are nomads who should not own land, or say they are too ignorant for schools, to superstitious for hospitals, and too primitive to make good soldiers, and she will erupt with the torrent of rebuttals that would scare the Black Panthers.

    She can talk to you in French, Vietnamese, several Montagnard dialects, and English. "Where did you learn these?" you ask.

    "In the forest," she answers, and her eyes twinkle just long enough to accent the mystery that surrounds her. "You know I am 107 years old. That is long enough to learn many things, but I am still a Montagnard."

    She represents a new generation of Montagnards, proud of its past, but demanding a modern role in the future of the Highlands. You can help a village sacrifice a water buffalo by beating it to death with sticks and rocks. You can watch a woman plant rice by poking small holes in the ground instead of plowing it up and disturbing the spirits. You can sit through hot afternoons drinking ricewine inside smoke-filled longhouses which have not changed for centuries. You can imagine you are living a thousand years ago. But when the talk turns to politics, you know you are in the 20th Century. The Montagnards know what time it is, and a variety of groups -- some militant, others peaceful -- are making sure no one else forgets.

    For generations, the Montagnards have lived in the Highlands, unconcerned about the Vietnamese along the coast. The feeling was mutual because Vietnamese fishermen and rice-farmers had no reason to leave the lowlands. Traditionally separated, the two groups viewed one another with suspicion and, eventually, prejudice. But in 1954, South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, resettled approximately 200,000 ethnic Vietnamese lowlanders into land the Montagnards considered their own. he also attempted to blanket the Montagnards with Vietnamese culture. He eliminated tribal courts and disregarded Montagnard self-government and other institutions.

    Over several months, many Montagnard tribes began to organize a resistance movement. It started with casual grumbling as men sat around their longhouses complaining quietly about strangers from the lowlands who were taking up more and more of the land, and about the government which seemed to ignore their established customs. Then, as occasional visitors travelled through the village, they learned that other tribes were talking about the same things.

    Soon, messengers were hurrying along the highland trails to call a meeting of tribal leaders. In 1958, these leaders formed a group called "Bajaraka," a name derived from the initials of four powerful Montagnard groups -- the Bahnar, Jarai, Rhade, and Koho. United in this way, the Montagnards began working to make the Highlands a separate nation with its own army. When letters and petitions to the Vietnamese government, the United Nations, and various diplomatic missions were ignored, Bajaraka staged demonstrations throughout the Highlands. These brought results, but not the ones desired: all the Bajaraka leaders were arrested and jailed by President Diem.

    After the overthrow of Diem, the government of Nguyen Khanh released these Montagnards. Paul Nur, who is now the GVN Minister for Ethnic Minorities, seeks peaceful cooperation between Montagnards and Vietnamese while preserving Montagnard culture and traditions. Y B'ham Enuol, once exiled and now living in the Cambodian jungles, became the leader of a militant faction known as FULRO (United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races), which wanted virtual Montagnard autonomy, a separate nation. FULRO has since been replaced by a legitimate political party working for Montagnard advancement within the Vietnamese nation. The third man, Y Bih Alio, joined the Viet Cong and fought to bring the Montagnards under communist control. A recent VC prisoner reported that he had seen Y Bih dead in a jungle a year ago.

    Part of the communist strategy for victory in the South depended on driving a wedge between the Montagnards and the Government of Vietnam. Communist Montagnards and Vietnamese cadre from North Vietnam were sent into the highlands to live in villages, where they successfully exploited Montagnard prejudices and their hopes for independence. At the same time, communist military units terrorized the Montagnards, stealing their crops and forcing them to fight against the government. Since there were very few GVN representatives in the highlands, the VC cadre were not contested seriously, and by 1961 it appeared the government had lost the loyalty and cooperation of much of the Montagnard population. To counter this, the GVN let the US send Special Forces advisors into the highlands to train village defense units, border patrols, and other reconnaissance teams. Spirited and well equipped with modern weapons, these Montagnard units succeeded in reversing the communist success in the highlands. Even so, the relations between the GVN and the Montagnards did not improve. By 1964, the movement for Montagnard independence, which had begun peacefully, had become more militant. But its goal was the same: Montagnard independence.

    In late 1964, Montagnard yearnings for autonomy were increasing at a time when they had the arms with which to revolt and when the countryside was weakened by repeated coups and disunity. This environment bred the first armed Montagnard revolt on September 20, 1964. Montagnard strikers (Civilian Irregular Defense Group soldiers in Quang Duc and Darlac provinces) revolted, killed some 70 Vietnamese, and marched on Ban Me Thuot. The organization which planned and conducted this revolt identified itself as FULRO (United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races). It appears to have been an outgrowth of the Bajaraka movement with the addition of an armed military organization. With American assistance, the GVN persuaded the Montagnards not to attack Ban Me Thuot. But Y B'ham, the FULRO leader, fled to Cambodia with several thousand followers.

    Immediately after the revolt, the government of Nguyen Khanh met with Montagnard leaders and planned an assistance program that showed respect for Montagnard traditions. The Highlanders would choose their own representatives in the National Assembly and hold positions in the central and local administrations. The traditional Montagnard court system would be reinstituted. Entrance requirements for officer and NCO students would be revised to admit Montagnards, and a pre-military school for children would be opened. The government also agreed to recognize Montagnard ownership of land and to provide assistance in developing it. Additional schools would be built for Montagnards, and scholarships to high school and universities would be granted. Except for autonomy, most of the Montagnard's grievances were recognized by Khanh, and he proposed remedial action.

    The Khanh government, however, was replaced through a coup in 1965, and his successors did little to implement this program. The Montagnards felt the promises made to them had been broken. Tensions in the highlands increased. On December 18, 1965, there was a second FULRO uprising at various places in Quang Duc, Darlac, and Phu Bon. The rebellion was put down in a day, and its leaders were either imprisoned or executed.

    At that point, there appeared to be little hope for improved relations. In 1966, the government of Nguyen Cao Ky began to implement General Khanh's program. In February, a Special Commissariat for Highlander Affairs was appointed commissioner. At this time, FULRO forces began negotiating the conditions for their return to the GVN. Finally, on October 17, 1966, 250 FULRO soldiers swore allegiance to the government, by Y B'ham who was still the nominal FULRO leader, remained in Cambodia.

    During the following year, tensions eased between the Vietnamese and Montagnards. Six Montagnards, including a member of FULRO, were elected to the National Assembly; President Nguyen Van Thieu signed a special law which recognized the Montagnards' right to own their land; and the GVN established the Ministry for Ethnic Minorities with Paul Nur installed as a regular member of the Cabinet.

    While most Montagnard leaders recognized that the GVN had outlined a credible minority policy, Y B'ham remained dissatisfied. Having lived in exile for three years and still in command of a force of militant Montagnard guerrillas, he claimed to have the underground support of thousands of other Montagnards within the Republic of Vietnam itself. Finally, in July, 1968, the government invited him to Ban Me Thuot for further negotiations. Y B'ham returned in August to a Special Forces camp in Quang Duc Province. From there he was flown by Caribou to Ban Me Thuot. After a week of meetings, Y B'ham's position narrowed to a few specific issues. He still wanted some degree of regional Montagnard autonomy within the political framework of the GVN and with himself installed as Commissioner General. He also asked the GVN to arm Montagnard forces commanded by Montagnard officers to protect Montagnard villages and fight the communists.

    He rescinded two other demands he had made earlier: the right of the Montagnards to receive foreign aid directly from other countries, and separate Montagnard representation in all international conferences dealing with Vietnam.

    With this understanding, Y B'ham returned to Cambodia and notified his representative in South Vietnam, Y D'he Adrong, to make final agreements for FULRO's permanent return to the country. An agreement was reached on December 12, 1968. Among other things, it specified that the Montagnards could form their own political party, fly their own flag in the same manner as do other political parties in the Republic of Vietnam, and that the returning FULRO soldiers would be trained and organized into Regional Force companies with Montagnard leaders. Y D'he returned to Saigon with the news.

    In January 1969, more than 1,300 FULRO soldiers and their families filtered across the Cambodian border into Quang Duc Province, collecting near the Special Forces camp at Bu Prang. From there, they were flown to Ban Me Thuot, where an official ceremony on February 1 marked the renewal of their allegiance to GVN.

    Everything had gone according to plan, except for one thing: Y B'ham, the FULRO leader, had stayed in Cambodia. The reason for this is still not clear. Either he was not pleased with the final agreement Y D'he negotiated with GVN, or he was held captive by a dissident and radical FULRO faction which tried to subvert the FULRO-GVN accord. In either case, Y B'ham's absence did not stop 1,300 of his former followers from rallying to the government.

    During the ceremony, Y D'he announced something which seemed to take most FULRO members by surprise: not only would they swear allegiance to the GVN, but they would also formally dissolve the FULRO organization and replace it with a new, non-militant Montagnard political party, later named the Ethnic Minorities Solidarity Movement (EMSM). While Y D'he's followers did not expect this mandate, they acquiesced quickly.

    Since then, Y D'he has played a less active role in Montagnard politics and has turned more to farming. Another former FULRO leader, Y Bling, took charge of the new party and continues as it chairman today. While the EMSM works to preserve Montagnard customs and to protect the full citizenship rights of its members, it advocates peaceful accomodation with the GVN, not militant secession. This is its principal difference from FULRO.

    In a series of written agreements, the GVN has promised to issue land titles to Montagnard farmers; to provide better schools, medical facilities, and agricultural assistance; and to establish Montagnard Regional Force companies while integrating other Montagnard officers into regular ARVN units.

    EMSM is now the strongest force uniting the Montagnards. Y Bling claims 65,000 dues-paying members, but probably many fewer are ardent supporters. Still, EMSM has emerged as the first viable form of political leverage the Montagnards have had -- at least it is the first which has gained significant support from the GVN. How long it can contain the undercurrent of militancy in the Highlands depends on how well the GVN can fulfill its plans. In wartime, it is hard to build schools and train politicians. The Montagnards know this. But they also know this is the 20th Centry and that it is time they have a place in the future of the country.

    It is doubtful they will let anyone forget.




    dap22
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    According to the following, at their present rate of population increase, by the year 2019 the Montagnards will be extinct. Very sad information.......................



    "From 200 BC until the mid 20th Century, the Montagnard tribes lived in harmony with nature in the rain forests of the Central Highlands of southern Vietnam. The Vietnam War destroyed 85% of their villages and killed one third of their 1.5 million people. Since the communist victory in 1975, the national Vietnamese population has exploded to 76 million, an increase of 230%. But due to the post war genocide and reprisals for their US loyalty and the effects of Cultural Leveling , the Montagnard population in the Central Highlands has remained at the 1975 level of 1,000,000. Thus as the average age of the Montagnard population increases, in the year 2019 they will be extinct. In addition, the export-hungry government has denuded the rain forests of their ancestral homelands causing the massive floods in recent years. The Montagnard habitat has been destroyed - converted to state-run coffee and cash crop plantations."


    TShooters
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    (8/17/01 11:03:07 am)
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    Hubby was stationed at Ban Me Thuot East, and it was a SF B-Camp, mostly. They had an
    emcampment of Montagnards, who worked with the SF's. Though, he wasn't working directly with them, he has a few pics that I should scan and put up. Hubby always pronounced the Montagnard name as "Mountain Yards".

    I believe the Montagnard bracelets started out as something special given by the people
    to their counterparts/friends, sort of a "blood brother" symbolism?? Did someone here
    mention receiving one of their "jugs" (that they fermented their wine/booze in) and
    trying to re-create the fermentation process. Maybe I read it elsewhere, on another BB/Discussion Group. The Disney movie "Dumbo Drop" with Danny Glover, has some scenes in it about a people living in the Highlands...think those scenes were meant to depict the Montagnards. Good movie if you haven't seen it.

    There's also another group/tribe of indigineous people that helped the US in the same fashion as the Montagnards. They are the Hmongs, and are also experiencing some
    problems as the Montagnards.

    Sharon

    Edited by: TShooters at: 8/17/01 12:13:00 pm

    106RR196LIB
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    (8/17/01 5:08:24 pm)
    | Del Yards(Cham)
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    Some retired SF came to San Jose State a few years ago and held an ethnic celebration for the Cham. He said he worked with them in Central Vietnam during the war. I don't remember his name.
    The events were scheduled in the old music building on 7 th St at SJSU. Dance, music, poetry were all offered and a long lesson on Cham history was included. It was quite impressive. It also provided a meeting ground for Cham teenagers. Apparently dating is prohibited (or something) so they can't meet each other. I attended but cannot speak the language. Some of it was in English.
    Unfortunately for the Cham, San Jose also has the second highest population of Vietnamese outside Saigon. The Vietnamese students hate the Cham. The meetings and performances were broken up repeatedly by false fire alarms. There was no ethnic violence but the Viets watched while every scheduled Cham performance was disrupted. The Cham performers were real troopers, they restarted every time. The Cham responded by altering the schedule. They figured that the Viets would not have the guts to attend so they announced the new schedule at the prior performance. The false alarms went off only at the old scheduled times.
    I enjoyed the day but found the false alarms un-nerving since the fire exits were under construction!

    BTW -- many montagnards regard the slaughter at Tra Bong in the same light as American Indigenous people regard the massacres Sand Creek and Wounded Knee. There were many similarities.

    Mike H

    homer4
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    (8/18/01 5:39:49 pm)
    | Del rice wine
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    Sharon happen to mention something to the effect of some old jugs used by the Montagnards to store their wine's in.

    It brought back memories of sippin some kinda wine made out of fermenting rice as a way of sitting with the Village Chief and his Counselors or the village most important members. The Co Van's (the Senior Mat Officers) would sometimes I hear take out bottles of American wine and whiskey to distribute when a very important meeting was held. I was a peon and wasn't invited to these. Just something I remember hearing them do.

    I foget the name of that rice wine they made!
    Does anyone know?
    Guns?, Gene?, Catch?, Bill?...I can go on...someone?

    I have drank the rice wine several times...it is a bit rough to swallow and get down...and takes time to aquire a taste I would think. It is customary to at least sip some...they got a kick out of us with the faces (smiling!) (never a disdainful face...that would be an affront)...but a raised eyebrow and head shaking with a WOW!...was amusing to them.

    They are a lovely people.

    Man I love this Board...so much comes back!!! God!!!, I really do!!! I was just a kid.

    ...I have forgotten the name...Anyone?
    Got off the subject... no offence...I don't start threads, only answer or barge in on them like this.

    dap22
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    (8/18/01 7:02:23 pm)
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    Homer.......we were all kids. I look at my own kids, all of whom have gone by the 22 that I was in VN, and thank the Lord that none of them had to go through that. It was a long time ago but for some of the things it was like yesterday...

    Speaking of the "jugs" used for fermenting.....brought back a memory of when we'd support the 11 ARC at Blackhorse. We'd sometimes go into Phan Thiet which is right along the coast. When you'd go into town you'd smell it before you saw it.............seemed like thousands of big pottery jugs fermenting fish parts.........NOUC MAM..........talk about stench.......the only thing worse was the smell of death and burning shit.

    homer4
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    (8/19/01 7:12:45 am)
    | Del Re: fermenting stuff
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    Your right bud...would hate to see my son Steve off in a war. They ain't gettin my daughters!!!

    Nuoc mam...WHEWEEE! A staple of their diet tho.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    dreamcatcher27371
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 173
    (8/19/01 3:27:24 pm)
    | Del Re: fermenting stuff
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homer, You couldn't be remembering "Ba Xi De" could you??
    Sorta on the order of the moonshine brewed around here...

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 1492
    (8/19/01 6:13:07 pm)
    | Del rice wine
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That's it Catch...I couldn't remember the name of that stuff to save my butt.
    Moonshine!!!
    Kinda partial to them Vietnamee Hillbillies there. Hehe!That wine was a bit tight to drink.
    Thanks bud.
  2. Daveet

    Daveet New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    In my experience with the Montangnards, all experiences were good. You would get the Vietnamese in as barbers, etc. and they were the ones selling the dope and drawing plans of the compounds. The gnards were so trustworthy, it was said you could leave your wallet and all your possessions (including your weapon) in a jeep in their compound, come back a week later and they would have a guard on it and everything would be untouched. We would have them come in to dig trenches for wire and other general labor jobs and they would be very swift in the completion. We were located in the Central Highlands from the coast at Quinohn to Pleiku, Kontum, and Dak To. They built their villages of bamboo on stilts. A very primitive people, but it is true they had no love for the Viets and vice versa, It seemed to be very much a "race thing."
  3. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10,650
    Location:
    Marty Robbins old hometown, Glendale Arizona--a su
    Welcome Daveet....noted this was your first post...also noted a subject that I had not seen for the longest time....begun 10 years ago with names no longer associated with the Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board including our old boss and founder of the site, JD, who passed away so suddenly little more than a year ago.......If you read all the postings, I had mentioned Khe Sanh Easter Sunday 1968...also about donating the Mont. bows and arrows to the Seabee Musuem at Port Hueneme, California. Please stick around Dave and tell us about yourself...again welcome on board...Chief
  4. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    SW. Florida
    Welcome Daveet, I flew for a Cav. Troop out of Pleiku in '72 & '73 doing typical hunter-killer missions from Dak To all the way down to Ban Me Thuot and Da Lot. We flew way back into the mountains and valleys where it was very difficult to get to by ground. The Montagnards were good people that had beautiful gardens and lived in a primitive tribal society. They were strong handsome people, much like our own native americans. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese regarded them with the same disdain and did everything they could to eliminate the gnards whenever they could. I caught a couple of VNAF Birddog FACs shooting white phosphorous rockets in to a gnard village onetime and REALLY wanted to shoot them down in the worst way. I put a couple of bursts of 7.62 minigun and 20mm Vulcan cannon fire across in front of them instead though and they ran for home.

    We were always told that if we were shot down and couldn't be rescued to get to the Montagnards and they'd protect us and get us home. They didn't distinguish between North and South Vietnamese, they hated both of them equally.

    Sadly, the U.S. abandoned them and left them to genocide at the hands of the Vietnamese. Many, many suffered terrible fates because they helped the Americans, :(
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  5. mjpulaski

    mjpulaski New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    az and ne
    Hello All,

    Go to my website and find a number of pix from the Dak Pek SF camp. We had ~ 5,000 'Yards w/us there.

    http://www.mjpulaski.com/Dak Pek.htm

    I was there in the fall of 1968. Two weeks after I left to assume command of a rifle company, the camp was over run and never re-occupied. It was ~ 15 km. from Laos.
  6. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10,650
    Location:
    Marty Robbins old hometown, Glendale Arizona--a su
    Welcome SKI and those were wonderful pictures...Thank your Captain for your service to our country...All of the troops will welcome and be entertained with the text and the pictures....This old post started way back in 03 and you've brought the subject back to life....Chief
  7. dabuc

    dabuc New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Youngsville, NC
    Thank you all for your posts in educating me more on the Montagnards. The company I work for Employs a number of Montagnards and they are GREAT people. Just like was stated before, loyal, humble, honest as the day is long, and very hard working. When I first started working with them I asked one if he was Vietnamise. He said "we are Montagnards". I knew at that point that there must be a big difference between the two and reading this post clarifys that better.

    For those who served in Vietnam Including my Dad, THANK YOU for your service.

    DABUC

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