“A Golden Souvenir of the hilltribes of Thailand”

“A Golden Souvenir of the hilltribes of Thailand” 

Hill tribe (Thai: ชาวเขา, คนเขา / Northern Thai: จาวดอย, คนดอย) “mountain people”) is a term used in Thailand for all of the various tribal peoples who mostly inhabit the high mountainous Northern and Western regions of Thailand, including both sides of the remote border areas between Northern Thailand, Laos and Burma. These areas are known for their thick forests and mountainous terrain. The six major hill tribes within Thailand are the Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong/Miao, Mien/Yao and Lisu, each with a distinct language and culture.

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The Yao 

The Yao in Thailand all speak a similar dialect and wear the same style of clothing.  They originated in southern China and migrated to Thailand around 150 years ago, mainly from Laos.  Most of their villages are close to the Laotian boarder around Chiang Rai and Nan.  The same ethnic group is found in China (Yunnan), Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos.   There is a close similarity between the embroidered trousers and style of jackets of the women of the Dao in Vietnam (Red Dao) and the Yao (Mien) in Thailand.

The Akha

The Akha originated in Yunnan where the majority of the group still live.  They have been migrating over several centuries southward.  In the middle of the 19th Century considerable numbers moved into Kentung State in Myanmar.  Others moved into Laos and Vietnam.  It is thought that the Akha in Thailand came from Myanmar. Most of the Akha in Thailand today live in Chiang Rai Province.  Almost all of the photos were taken in a village in the hills around Chiang Rai in northern Thailand except for one taken on the banks of the Mae Kok River above Chiang Rai.

Others tribes in the pictures: Lisu, Lahu, Padang, Karen (long neck)


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