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French ethnologist on Vietnam Central Highlands Georges Condominas dies

Original Title in English : Highlands' ethnologist dies
Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

VietNamNet Bridge – French ethnologist Georges Condominas, who spent his whole life researching the ethnic people of the Central Highlands, died on Sunday in Paris following a heart attack.

He was known worldwide for his book 'Nous avons mange la foret de la pierre-genie Goo' -(We Have Eaten the Forest of the Stone Genie Goo), published in 1957. The book was a culmination of his research on the ethnic Mo Nong Gar in Sar Luk Village in the Central Highlands province of Dac Lac.

From this experience, he also wrote 'L'exotique est quotidien' (The Exotic is Part of our Daily Experience) in 1965, but it has yet to be translated into English.

About the Author
Condominas was born in 1921 in the northern city of Hai Phong to a French father and a Vietnamese-Portuguese mother.

Educated in France, he returned to Viet Nam in 1940 to study the little-known ethnic group in Sar Luk Village.
He asked for the villagers' permission to build a house and became a real villager who participated in every community activity.

He was given the moniker, Yoo, and learnt to speak the Mo Nong Gar language so well that he dreamt in their language instead of French.

His objects, films and notes collected during the time he stayed with the Mo Nong Gar were displayed at an exhibition We Have Eaten the Forest at the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology and Quai Branly Museum in France in 2007. On the occasion, he received the Viet Nam Friendship Medal for his contribution to Vietnamese ethnic culture.

"Condominas made the Mo Nong Gar people from a small village in Viet Nam known to the world," said writer Nguyen Ngoc, a close friend of Condominas, "he proved that no culture is greater than others."

French translation by Anh Tho Andres
Vietnamese translation by Cuong Phan, Kim Hoang, Bich Hong, Bao Han
German translation by Han Dang-Klein
Italian translation by Phan Cong Danh
Japanese translation by Hong Anh

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