Little is known about the prehistory of the Muong. Archaeological evidence and local legends suggest that the various ethnic minorities of the region—the Muong, Meo, Zao, Tay, Tho, Nung, Thai, Kmhmu, Coong, Sila, La Hu, and Bo Kho Pa—belonged to a single cultural group (more or less). It was through subsequent geographical dispersion and cultural isolation that diverse ethnic identities emerged and consolidated. Similarly, ethnographic and linguistic research on the Muong and the Vietnamese indicate several crucial similarities between the two societies. Given that the Muong inhabit a region between those of the Vietnamese and the Thai, the presence of cultural and linguistic similarities is not surprising. The Muong nevertheless continue to have their own specific characteristics, often very much distinct from those of their neighbors.