The Dong (own name: Gaeml, in the kɐm, also referred to as Kam) people are an ethnic group. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, and are famed for their carpentry skills and unique architecture, in particular a form of covered bridge known as the "wind and rain bridge" (Chinese: 风雨桥). Many of the people are also farmers. Their cuisine prominently features pickled foods and sticky rice.
They live mostly in Guizhou, Hunan, and Guangxi provinces of China.
The Dong language
(own name: lix Gaeml
) is a Tai-Kadai
(or Zhuang-Dong) language.
When written, the Dong people sometimes use Chinese characters
to represent the sounds of Dong words. A new orthography
based on the Latin alphabet
was developed in 1958, but it is not used very much, due to a lack of printed material and trained teachers.
The Ethnologue distinguishes two Dong dialects with the codes kmc for the southern dialect and doc for the northern.
Notable Dong people
- D. Norman Geary, Ruth B. Geary, Ou Chaoquan, Long Yaohong, Jiang Daren, Wang Jiying (2003). The Kam People of China. Turning Nineteen? (London / New York, RoutledgeCurzon 2003). ISBN 0-7007-1501-0. (The two main authors are affiliated with the linguistic organization SIL International.)
- Long, Yaohong and Zheng, Guoqiao (1998). Language in Guizhou Province, China. Dallas: SIL International and the University of Texas at Arlington Publications in Linguistics 126. ISBN 1-55671-051-8. (Translated from Chinese by D. Norman Geary.)
- Ōu Hēngyuán 欧亨元 (2004). Cic deenx Gaeml Gax / Dòng-Hàn cídiǎn 侗汉词典 (Dong-Chinese dictionary. Běijīng 北京, Mínzú chūbǎnshè 民族出版社). ISBN 7-105-06287-8.
- ethnic minority