Friday, 16 April 2010

hill tribes of Siam...

.... The Roads never ends and this Journey is just the next two weeks I will go to Thailand (Bangkok) and then travel to Chiang Mai... In one of the most amazing trips in my life, I will ride an elephant across the Chiang Mai Jungle (Border Thailand-Burma), and try to visit and photograph some Ancient Hill Tribes such as Karen, Lahu, Palong and Padaung...Northern Thailand is home to interesting and colourful ethnic minorities, known as the hill tribes.Most of the hill tribes have migrated into the region during the past 100 years from the Asian interior and have largely preserved their traditional ways, making them a fascinating cultural study. They prefer living above 1,000m, and shy away from the outside world.There are seven broad hill tribe groupings: Karen, Lahu (big ear), Hmong, Lisu, Akha and Mien. However, within these categories, there are sub-categories and clans that further divide the groups.
Each hill tribe has its own customs, language, dress and spiritual beliefs and this is sometimes true even of the numerous sub-categories within one hill tribe.For example, the Green Hmong and White Hmong speak in different and distinct dialects and dress differently. The hill tribes are most distinctly recognised for their colourful and unique costume, which they continue to wear daily. Most of the hill tribes living in the remote upland areas practice subsistence farming.
Opium cultivation was a major source of income for many of the hill tribes and the government worked hard to eradicate this cultivation by successfully substituting it with other cash crops, such as cabbages and fruits. This is known as the Royal project, initiated by his Highness King Rama IX, and commended internationally for its success.

Population: approx 300,000 Origin: Myanmar
This is the largest of the minority groups and many of the Karen were converted to Christianity by the missionaries, with some tribes still practicing animism or being Buddhist. Within the Karen, there are three main sub-groups: White Karen or Sgaw, Black Karen or Pgo and Red Karen or Kayah. The Karen wear woven v-neck tunics of various natural colours and turbans. Unmarried women wear distinctive long white v-neck tunics. The Karen occupy lowland areas, engaging in agriculture, including rice cultivation. They are also skilled weavers and the most environmentally conscious of the hill tribes - practicing crop rotation, thus preserving the forest.
Population: approx 124,000 Origin: Yunnan
This is the second-largest hill tribe group and is sometimes referred to as Meo. They are largely animistic and best known for their intricate embroidery. Known to be fiercely independent and with nomadic tendencies, they sided with communist rebels in Thailand in the 1970s, while the Hmong of Laos sided with the US during the Vietnam and Laos wars - both seeking self-determination.
The Hmong are sub-divided into White Hmong and Green Hmong. The Green Hmong are the most numerous in Thailand and women wear heavily embroidered, very tightly pleated skirts. The men wear baggy black pants with various levels of bright embroidery along the cuffs and seams. The Hmong have settled in the province of Chiang Mai and villages can be visited near Doi Suthep and Doi Inthanon. Their succession is patrilineal and polygamy is widely practised.
Population: approx 73,000 Origin: Yunnan, Myanmar
Also known as Musor, the Lahu are concentrated near the Burmese border and have five sub-groupings: Red Lahu, Yellow Lahu, Black Lahu, White Lahu and Lahu Sheleh. The Black Lahu is the largest sub-grouping, making up close to 80 per cent of the Lahu population. The women wear very distinctive black and red jackets and skirts and the men wear baggy green or blue pants. They have a reputation as excellent hunters, and survive off vegetable cultivation, with some supplementing this meagre income with opium production.

Population: approx 50,000 Origin: Tibet / Myanmar
The Akha are among the most down-trodden and often most impoverished of the hill tribes, resisting assimilation into mainstream Thai culture. They are, however, the most fascinating and colourful of the hill tribes and can easily be visited, particularly in Chiang Rai province where many reside. Many villages have been converted to Christianity, though some observers decry this as a dilution of their culture.
The Akha have a very unique and rich oral literature tradition, in which they can recite their ancestors back numerous generations. The Akha came to Thailand in the early 20th century, mainly due to their persecution in Burma. The women wear very plain indigo died shirts, which are in turn adorned with all kinds of eye-catching paraphernalia, such as coins, beads, shells, etc. The women are also very visible by their ornate headdress adorned with silver, and many can be seen at the Night Bazaar hawking their intricate silver jewellery. Every year the Akha have a unique swing festival. Opium is still used among this tribe.

Population: approx 40,000 Origin: Central China
Also known as the Yao, they are distant linguistic relatives of the Hmong and originated from China. Because of this, many of the older Mien can still write Chinese, and many display distinctive Chinese facial features. Being the smallest group, the Mien live in isolated villages, mostly in and around Chiang Rai and Nan. The Mien women are known for the long black jackets that are adorned with pom-pom like red trim. They are skilled embroiderers and silversmiths.
Population: approx 28,000 Origin: Tibet / Yunnan
The Lisu women are distinguished by their brightly coloured tunics, worn over long pants; some of the older generation continue to wear tasselled turbans on their heads. Occupying villages above 1,000m, they keep livestock and cultivate corn and vegetables. Unlike other hill tribes, they don't usually live in stilted houses. The Lisu men and women are also recognised as some of the most physically attractive of the hill tribes and marriage outside of their tribe is not uncommon.
Population: marginal Origin: Thailand
The Padaung are a sub-group of the Shan, who aren't entirely considered minorities as they have always occupied the areas of Northwest Thailand and the Shan states of Myanmar. The Shan speak a dialect similar to Thai and are even known as Thai Yai, having been assimilated into Thai culture.
There are pockets of Padaung around Mae Hong Son. The Padaung attract many curious visitors on account of their long-necked women. A tradition of beautifying women by adding brass rings to their necks has been preserved largely for generating tourism. Although the neck appears cruelly elongated, it is the collarbone which has been displaced rather than the stretching and weakening of the neck.


Sil said...

Anduvieron en elefante?
Nosotros también!! Qué lindos son!

Muy buenas fotos.


★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Anduvimos en Elefante el 2009 en nuestro ultimo viaje a Bangkok, en la antigua ciudad de Ayuthaya (Ex Capital de Tailandia). Ahora estamos organizando una excursión en elefantes para conocer y fotografiar a algunas tribus Thai que viven el el Norte de Tailandia... especialmente los Long Neck (cuellos de girafa o Karen)... en dos semanas más nos vamos a nuestra nueva aventura!

Un abrazo grande para ti tambien Sil

Saludos en Japón!

gabriela said...

Dear Crazy Drile:

Congratulations!!! Compass of the north on the Road again!!!!

Your new journey will be the most amazing one. Enjoy it!!!

Through your life you are picking up the most wonderful experiences... it´s like a dream.

I would like to be there...yes...

Incredible pics.

A hug and a big kiss for you from LA Chile.

God bless you!!!

★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Thank you Gabriela, enjoy this new Asian journey; Thailand is an amazing place and never stops to surprise you.

In this trip, I will try to visit the Royal Palace in Bangkok, the floating Market, Thai Boxing and more... in just a bit more than one week will go

Take it Easy!

Suruyevsky. said...

Good luck in your trip accross Thailand, Crazydrile!
Greetings to Dumbo and his family.-

subongkot said...

hello crazy drile

i can not wait to see your picture with the hill tribe ...

we will follow you always


★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Thanks Suruyevsky!
Just a few days more....Oh sí!

greetings in Mandriland!

PS: sigue temblando?

★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Kob khun Krab Subongkot, I can not wait for this trip as well...Thailand is just awesome; much more than I thought

Lagon Krub

ps: do you think I can try Fried Scorpion this time???

Suruyevsky. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suruyevsky. said...

Hubo uno el viernes, 6:03AM, 6.1 richter, epicentro a 55 km al oeste de Los Ángeles. Hubo que levantarse temprano para pasar el susto. La ducha quedó para otro día, jajajajaj.
7-Mayo: Matrimonio del Nacho, Civil.

★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Gracias por las telenoticias reportivas!!

Donde es elo matrimonoio del Natre??


★ Crazy Drile™ said...

...just two days!

So long Sydney....Sawadee Krab Thailand!

ricardo said...

Esperaré las fotos en donde montes tu propio elefante y la vegetación de la selva Tailandesa roce tu cara y tu cuerpo, en un saludo, en un símbolo, en una conección con esas tierras lejanas a las cuales pertenece la mujer que conquistó tu corazón.

OZYOSO said...

Que increíbles y buenas fotos, Seba.

Ver esas cosas en los cuellos de estas mujeres siempre me ha impresionado.

Y el paisaje, para qué decir. Precioso.

Saludos a Amy y a ti!


★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Muchas gracias por tus palabras Papa... espero puedas tener acceso a Internet en el Norte y revises los prximos Capitulos

Un abrazo desde Tailandia


★ Crazy Drile™ said...

Gracias Nacho, a mi siempre me ha impresionado ver las fotos de las mujeres cuello largo, pero nunca supe que ellos vivian en Tailandia. Pensaba que eran de Africa o cerca de Sambia; pero no, ellos viven en las fronteras de Tailandia con Vietnam y Burma, originarios probablemente de China y regiones de Nepal...

Ayer llegue a las 1am a Bangkok, tras 9 horas de vuelo 5 estrellas en emirates Airlines, dand inicio a este nuevo viaje por casi un mes en Tailandia...Son las 11 am del 3 de Mayo...llueve a cantaros con una humedad que no te imaginarias nunca y con 40 grados de calor al mismo tiempo... en el centro de Bangkok hay protestas y disturbios en las cuales los RED SHIRT, o los camisas rojas, ya se han tomado gran parte de la Ciudad Capital y hay amenaza de guerra civil tras confirmarse mas de 25 muertos en los tiroteos... ese es el clima por estos espera una inolvidable jornada

Un abrazo Nacho,
mantente en contacto


ps: tengo problemas para acceder a tu blog Guau!, no se abre la pagina

MK KWUN said...

Dear Ricardo and Amy,

How about crocodile, elephant farm? The most interesting place is พิพิธภัณฑ์หุ่นขี้ผึ้งไทย (Thai Human Imagery Museum).

This Sat , both of you will go to
ChaingMai where is wonderful place in northern part of Thailand.
Enjoy your adventure trip such as riding the elephant.

Welcome to Thailand again.
Smile land ....

Phung, Ake ,and Pretty Bean:)

★ Crazy Drile™ said...

พิพิธภัณฑ์หุ่นขี้ผึ้งไทย was awesome Mk Kwun!..I really enjoyed 100%

Yeap, we are now in Chiang Mai, this place is just Fantastic!
the Jungle, the weather the just amazing and really a treasure from Siam...

Very interesting chapters coming soon....stay on line

Greetings to your beautiful Family

Laa gawn,
See you soon