Ethnic minority literature: Most ethnic minority literature remains oral in nature, although a number of collections have been published over the years.
Perhaps best known are the Black Thái epics Xóng chụ xôn xao and Khun Lú Náng Ủa, part of a valuable Thái literary legacy which embraces everything from histories and legends to riddles and humorous tales. The Tày and Nùng communities of the Việt Bắc developed their own version of the chữ nôm script from an early date and the literary heritage of the Tày in particular is also noteworthy, comprising as it does a range of epic poems (Nam Kim-Thị Đan, Lương Quân Bioóc Rốm), histories (Nùng Trí Cao, Nùng Văn Vân) and ancestral myths (Pú Luông-Già Cải), some of which date back to the 16th century. Folk tales and legends from both the Mường and the Dao ethnic minorities have also been preserved and published.
Six ethnic groups of Tây Nguyên (the central highlands) - the Malay-Polynesian Ê-đê, Ra-glai, Gia-rai and Ba-na and the Môn-Khmer Xơ-đăng and M'nông - preserve a rich corpus of oral literature. These include the epic poems of the Ê-đê (Đam San, Đăm Kteh Mlan, Sing Nhã, Đam Di, Khing Juh, Đăm Thih), the Ra-glai (Uya Yuhea) and the Xơ-đăng (Dăm Giông), but perhaps best known is the Ốt N'Rông, a 30,000-verse M'nông epic discovered in 1988 which surpasses the Ramayana, the Odyssey and even the Iliad in size. A 21 billion VNĐ (cUS$1.3 million) project launched in 2001 by the Việt Nam Academy of Social Sciences aims to survey, collect, document, translate, archive and publish the oral literature of the central highlands before it is lost.
In recent years the ethnic minority communities have produced numerous contemporary writers of note. Foremost amongst Việt Nam's ethnic minority poets are Lò Văn Mười (b 1913, Thái ethnic group), Bàn Tài Đoàn (b 1913, Dao ethnic group), Cầm Biêu (b 1920, Thái ethnic group), Nông Quốc Chấn (b 1923, Tày ethnic group), Hoàng Nó (b 1925, Thái ethnic group), Nông Viết Toại (b 1926, Tày ethnic group), Lương Quý Nhân (1926-1996, Thái ethnic group), Lò Văn Cậy (b 1928, Thái ethnic group), Y Điệng (b 1928, Ê-đê ethnic group), Hùng Đình Quý (b 1938, H'mông ethnic group), Vương Trung (b 1938, Thái ethnic group), Nay Nô (b 1942, Gia Rai ethnic group), Lò Ngân Sủn (b 1945, Giáy ethnic group), Pờ Sảo Mìn (b 1946, Pa Dí ethnic group), Y Phương (Hứa Vĩnh Sước, b 1948, Tày ethnic group) and Inrasara (Phú Trạm, b 1957, Chăm ethnic group). The ethnic minority communities have also produced a handful of important prose writers, including Nông Minh Châu (1924-1979, Tày ethnic group), Ma Trường Nguyên (b 1944, Tày ethnic group) and Linh Nga Niêk Đăm (b 1948, Ê-đê ethnic group).