The Ede, also called the Rhade, and sometimes the E-De, Ra De or De, are an ethnic community of about 200 000 people living in Vietnam. They live in the south-eastern provinces of Dak Lak, Gai Lai, Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen. The Rhade language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian language group.
The Êde live in small villages, usually gathering twenty to fifty houses. Several families live in such Ede villages, which are called “buon” in Rhade. Traditionally, they build long houses on stilts to welcome their extended families.
The head of the family is the Koa Sang, as the Êde are a matriarchal society, the Khoa Sang is the oldest woman in the family. She is in charge of solving family disputes and preserving familial traditions. Not only are the Êde a matriarchal society, but they also follow a matrilineal system, meaning one’s lineage follows the female line and a child will take his or her mother’s name.
When the men get married, they move in with their wife’s family and have little influence on the decisions made by their in-laws. In the unfortunate case that his wife died, it is common for the widower to move in with his sisters.