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Upland Northern Vietnam

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is a general introduction to colonial highland Tonkin and its populations intended to set the cultural background of the ethnographies. It begins with an outline of the history of the northern highlands from imperial times to French colonial rule. The chapter gives a measure of the demographic significance of the region and the 5 million or so mountain dwellers found today in this part of northern Vietnam. During the early years of the colonisation of Indochina, it was first through second hand accounts by Vietnamese informants and the reports of a handful of European observers that the existence of montagnard groups in the Southeast Asian massif began to be known to the French.

Keywords: French colonial rule; imperial Vietnamese; Tonkin



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