chapter  19
KAM
ByTongyin Yang, Jerold A. Edmondson
Pages 76

The Kam are one of the fifty-five officially recognized minority ethnic groups of China. While they are referred to as իᮣ Dongzu in Chinese, their own designation or autonym is Kam or more explicitly [k7m55]. The population of the Kam was about 2.5 million according to the 1990 census, making it the fourteenth largest of China’s ethnic groups. More than 90% of the Kam population is concentrated in a triangle overlapping SE Guizhou Province (1,410,000), Hunan Province (750,000) and the Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region (290,000). A small group lives in a separated area in western Hubei Province (50,000) (Long and Zheng 1998 1: 11-12). There is also one Kam village in Vietnam’s Tuyên Quang Province where a few people migrated about 150 years ago. A very few persons can still speak the language, but the language is utterly moribund and will die when these few speakers are gone (Edmondson 1998). The neighboring ethnic groups of the Kam include the Miao, Yao, Sui, Mulao, Zhuang, Buyi people, and, of course, the Han Chinese.