The indigenous people of Southern Vietnam, the Khmer Krom, live in a region over which Vietnam and Cambodia have contesting claims. Regarded by nationalists in both countries with ambivalence and under pressure to change their way of life, they have coped with destructive wars, environmental re-engineering and nation-building policies by selectively engaging the world beyond, while continuing to draw upon local resources, self-help networks and understandings. This path-breaking study uncovers the sophistication of the Khmer Krom ecological repertoire and charts their diverse adaptations to an ecologically complex river delta. It relates the myths through which they orient themselves in place and history and invest their local circumstances with cosmological significance. As well as its ethnographic insights and offer of an indigenous, non-Vietnamese history of the region, the book will also attract environmental studies scholars interested in a close-grained study of the ecology of a river delta.