Three Rivers Dams (3)
Taveang Leu, still on the banks of the Sesan river. Cambodia being Cambodia, crossing a rickety and dancing suspended bridge not just takes us across a small river. It projects us into another world. The indigenous Brao of the village had finished a ceremony to appease the spirits menacing a member of their community hospitalised in Phnom Penh. A buffalo had been sacrificed, its head cut off and exposed on an altar, its body tossed in a fire to burn off the hair.
The 30,000 Brao of Cambodia are just one of the indigenous communities, montagnards or hilltribes who are living in the areas which will be affected by the construction of the dams along the Sesan, Srepok and Sekong rivers. The refuge from assimilation by their Indianized Khmer cousins offered years ago by the hills and mountains of the Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng and Mondulkiri provinces is not sufficient anymore. The indigenous communities will face a hard time maintaining their customs, social structure and traditional food supplies.
Link to ‘Peuples d’en Haut’ a book about people with a strong cultural identity leaving in mountaineous areas…