The Ơ Đu

A community migrating for sustenance 

The Ơ Đu people, also referred to as O’Du, O Du, Iduh, Tay Hat, Hat, and Haat, are an aboriginal ethnic group in Vietnam and Laos. In Vietnam, he Ơ Đu are one of the five least populous ethnic groups, with approximately 600 people.

The O Du village in Vietnam, previously located deep away from contact, shifted to Văng Môn village, in the Nga My commune, Tuong Duong district, following the construction of the Van Be hydropower dam, in 2006. The community comprises highly skilled artisans and laborers, where men assume roles outside of the household, and women largely work within the home. Yet both men and women share tasks such as weaving. However, younger members of the community contribute to the work by gathering materials and food. This has significantly preserved heritage, largely unaffected by modern society.

The Ơ Đu subsist mainly on slash-and-burn agriculture and raising cattle, augmented by hunting, gathering, and weaving. Upland farming has created a source of sustenance for the Ơ Đu.

Ơ Đu people have an endangered language, culture, and customs. The language is called O’du, which is a Khmuic language (Austro-Asiatic family). and which may be connected to Khmuic languages. However, the Ơ Đu now mostly employ Vietnamese or the language of the Thái or the Khơ Mú.