Cham - Sociopolitical Organization

Political Organization. The Cham village is made up of several hamlets and is governed by elected officials numbering from five to fifteen. These officials are charged with safeguarding the public, the distribution of community funds, and tax collection. Each village is also governed by a mayor. All officials, with the exception of the mayor, are subject to individual taxation. A larger administrative division is made up of groups of eight to twelve villages. These groups are governed by a group leader. Three to four of these village groups compose the highest administrative division, the huyen.

Social Control. Social control is maintained by a combination of regulations derived from indigenous and national (i.e., governmental) sources.

Conflict. Conflict between the Cham and their immediate Vietnamese neighbors was characteristic of early Cham history. After their defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese, many Cham fled to Cambodia. Subsequent contact between the two groups has improved over the years to the point where the Cham have adopted many aspects of Vietnamese culture. No Cham military structure has existed since the fall of the Champa empire.

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