Ethnohistorians proposed at a conference Monday that a group of more than a thousand people in the southern province of Binh Phuoc be recognized as Vietnam' 55th ethnic group.
Experts from the National Committee for Ethnic Minorities and Mountainous Areas in Hanoi said the group, named Ta Mun, has 1,143 people living in 234 families in Tan Hiep Commune, Hon Quan District, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
Ta Mun people do not have their own written language system, but are using their own spoken language, which originated from the Khmer language system.
The group is not listed as a Vietnamese ethnic group, as Binh Phuoc authorities in 2009 categorized them as a branch of the S'Tieng group.
But the people themselves have been asking for several years for independent recognition and a number local and overseas researchers have described them as distinguished from other established groups, experts said.
Vietnam has recognized 54 ethnic groups, with the Kinh accounting for 86.2 percent of the population. Other large groups live in the northern highlands.
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