This catalogue was published for the exhibition "We have eaten the forest" Georges Condominas in Vietnam presented at the Quai Branly Museum in 2006.
When Georges Condominas was 27 he came to live in Sar Luk, a village inhabited by Mnong Gar people, on the Darlac plateau (nowadays the Dac Lac province), in the centre of Vietnam, hoping to become totally immersed. He intended to by-pass a particular form of indo-Chinese ethnography, the work of missionaries and administrators who had lacked the intimate experiences and the methods that a professional approach requires. For him, it was necessary to share in the daily lives of the villagers, and his aim was to analyse their social life in its multiple dimensions as faithfully as possible, using tried and tested survey techniques. It involved 'participating in the life of a village in the course of at least a year, in order to follow the sequence of an farming cycle in its entirety'.
The main purpose of this volume is to illustrate and to explain how a great ethnologist engaged in fieldwork, by re-assembling all the bits and pieces that represented his work: notes, sketches, photographs, collected objects... Condominas' words, both past and present, are there to provide an insight into the meaning of a particular set of findings at the time when he compiled them and today.