Pearic peoples

Not to be confused with Pear people (cartoons).
Pearic peoples
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Cambodia 8,780
 Thailand 500
Pearic languages
Animist, Theravada Buddhism

Pearic peoples (/ˈpɛər/; from [ˈpɛə]; also Por) refers to indigenous groups, including the Pear, Samre, Chong, Samray and Sa'och, which speak one of the Pearic languages and live a sparse existence after years of conflict in Cambodia and Thailand.[1] Pearic groups speak different, but closely related, languages and share many cultural traits that differ markedly from the dominant Khmer and Thai cultures.


Pearic peoples include: Samré in Pursat Province; Samray in Battambang; Chong and Chong-Samré in the Trat Province of eastern Thailand; and Chong la and Chong heap, in Chanthaburi Province, Thailand.

In the Pear communities in Preah Vihear Province, Pear population was estimated to be 299 households (1,674 persons) in 2002.

According to the Pear Samray people of Kranhung, the Kulen hill region's Samray survived because of emigration in the days of the Angkor kingdom. After the 1967 revolt of Samlaut, Pear of Stung Kranhung area moved to Ta Sanh.[2]

While some Sa'och live in Cambodia's coastal area,[3] many Sa’och from the Kampong Som area were taken captive by the Thai in the 1830s and resettled in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.[4] Some Sa’och show physical characteristics similar to Negritos and in this respect are different from other Pearic peoples. Martin speculates the Sa’och inhabited the higher areas and the Samré the lower slopes and flatter areas before the arrival of Khmer from Champassak in about the 6th century.

The Chong are Pearic peoples who live in Thailand's Trat Province and also Chanthaburi Province.

Pearic peoples traditionally cultivate upland rice by the swidden method.

They follow traditional religions.

As of 2014, the indigenous Chong people in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia are seeking to prevent construction of the Cheay Areng Dam, which would displace local residents.[5]


Main article: Pearic languages

The people speak the endangered group of Pearic languages. Gérard Diffloth (1992) states that the language and customs of the Pear are radically different from other social groups in Cambodia.


  1. Jeremy Ironside; Ken Sereyrotha. "International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, Indigenous Peoples Conservation Committee" (PDF). Open-ended Adhoc Working Group on Protected Areas United Nations Convention Biodiversity. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 14, 2008. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  2. "Overview of the distribution of Pear (Por) people in Cambodia". Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  3. "Cambodia Home of World Heritage". Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  4. Isara, Choosri (2009). "Chung (Saoch) of Thailand and Cambodia: phonological and lexical comparisons" (PDF). Mon-Khmer Studies Journal. 38. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  5. Mam, Kalyanee (2014-10-19). "Will Cambodia Flood a Sacred and Biodiverse Valley for a Dubious Dam?". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2014-10-24.

Further reading

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