People, Place, and History
This chapter provides an overview of the geography, people, and history of O'Thmaa, a village nestled between the Cardamom Mountains to the west and the Elephant Mountains to the southeast. Today the region is accessible by a road, yet by Cambodian standards it is still “remote,” “far away,” and “in the mountains and forest.” The Cambodians of the plains consider the place uninhabitable and dangerous; for the locals who live here, it is simply their milieu. Between 2002 and 2003, O'Thmaa village had a total population of 175, composed of forty households with an average of 4.4 persons per household. The village is located in the commune known as Prei Phnom. This chapter discusses the villagers' history, both locally and contextualized within the wider history of Cambodia. It shows that the Khmer Rouge revolution and civil war ended much later for the people in both Prei Phnom and the adjacent commune, Doung Srae, than it did for most Cambodians.
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