116 VVN – Montagnards – How and Why They Aided The Americans in Vietnam

Montegards, Mack Payne, vietnam veteran news

Montagnard village — Typical longhouses in the village.

One of our best friends in the Vietnam War was a group of people who get little recognition or respect. They are the Montagnards who lived in the mountains of Vietnam and provided much help to the US Special Forces. The French named these prehistoric-like people “Montagnard,” which meant mountain-dweller. They were a group of 20 to 28 tribes of ethnic minorities which looked like Polynesian people and spoke a language similar to Polynesian and were actually Degar people. They lived in Vietnam as early as the 8th century long before the Chinese Oriental Vietnamese arrived on the scene and the two population groups never really learned how to get along with each other.

Only about 600,000 Montagnards survive today. When the American version of the Vietnam War started there were seven million of them in Vietnam. Unfortunately that seems to be the price people have to pay when they decide to throw their lot in with the Americans who seem to have the habit of forsaking their friends.

This story comes from Joyce Alpay, a writer for the Kokomo Perspective.


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