The once mighty Champa Kingdom, a large Hindu culture that controlled most of central Vietnam and beyond, dominated the South China Sea trade for more than a thousand years. It has over time been reduced to a population of about 160,000 and relegated to two small provinces. The mostly Hindu Cham live in and around Phanrang (south of Nha Trang) on the hot and dry south coast, while most Muslim Cham inhabits a small area near the Cambodian border in the Mekong Delta.
Although long persecuted, the Cham remain proud people who are full of life! Their rich culture and ancient traditions passed on by their elders remain largely intact, and are inseparable from their everyday lives.
Renowned Vietnamese photographer Nguyen Vu Phuoc has only begun his photographic exploration of the Cham. All images are from Ninh Thuan Province on the southern coast.
Check out his website here