BAAN YA PA (THREE HILL TRIBES VILLAGE)

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This village in Chang Rai lives three tribes, the Padong Long neck Karen, the Akha and the Lahu shi Balah.
 
 
The Padong Long neck Karen tribe, originally from Tibet, are famous for their long necked females often called giraffe necks.The females have actually normal necks it only made longer by putting brass rings around their necks.This is their  tradition of beautifying a woman.The neck ring is actually a brass spiral and it doesn't lengthen the neck but pushes the the ribs downwards because of its heavy weight.
 
 
 
 
They start wearing this neck-ring as early as 5 yrs of age. Some even have rings in their legs and arms..

 
 
 
 
The Lahu shi balah tribe on the other hand have large ear loops,like the Padongs they too were originally from Tibet . Their ears are pierce with large metal earrings. The one we saw, her earrings were made of tin cans.
 
 
The Akha tribe ,originated in China, can be distinguish by their elaborated headdress with their traditional clothes of broad leggings, short black skirt with a white beaded sporran, a loose fitting black jacket with heavily embroidered cuffs and lapels.Our guide told us that their headdress is uniquely decorated by their owners.
The villagers were mostly females, the only males are the babies and/kids. According to our guide, grown up males were in Myanmar or Vietnam for work leaving their families in Thailand.

Their house are  made of bamboos and logs and built on higher altitude.

 
 
 
These three tribes make their living by weaving then they make it into bags, shawls, etc  . Making some stuffs out of "garbage" like the chair made of old tires.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lastly, Our tour guide reminded us not to give money to the villagers because it will make them get used to it or worse it will encourage them to  disregard their culture/tradition in exchange for their hope of going and living  abroad.We saw  one teen age girl who was already "westernize" (see pic below).She said that she don't want to wear their traditional clothes and accessories anymore because she wants to go to Australia.

the typical teen villager and the "westernize teen"



 

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