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Meet the AKHA Tribe

March 13th, 2012 • by admin


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Meet the AKHA Tribe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

The AKHA Hill Tribe allows visitors to enter their village for an up-close experience of their way of life. Living in the same manner as their ancestors in Tibet and southern China, they follow their daily routines while wearing traditional clothing and headdresses. 

The AKHA women's strikingly beautiful headdresses are simple yet delicate especially the way it hugs their faces. Adorned with beads, silver coins, buttons, shells, and other colorful objects the headdresses become part of the female's wardrobe at 19. The female's clothes include a jacket with embroidered cuffs and lapels, short skirt, decorated beaded sashes and leggings while the men are less dressy wearing ornate jackets and dark pants. Today many tribal members go for the western style with a T-shirt and blue jeans.

The people were friendly and happily posed for pictures to the delight of visitors. Instead of just watching a film about the AKHA?s tribe, this was a chance to meet the people, to watch the women weave their clothes and purchase some of the most beautiful handicrafts, jewelry and souvenirs.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity for this view of the AKHA tribe. During my college years, I read anthropologist Margaret Mead's books Coming of Age in Samoa, Growing Up in New Guinea, as well as some of her other work and have always been interested in learning about the culture of people around the world.

The AKHA are self sustaining as they plant cotton and work in their farms. First the women dye the cotton then spin the materials into thread with a hand spindle which has a foot treadle loom. The children begin learning to weave from the ages of 6-7.  

After the tour, it was hard to believe, the Hill Tribe Village at Baan Lor Cha was only one hour from downtown Chiang Rai. You can also see four other tribes at this village.  www.akha.org  www.tourismthailand.org

Thailand

Krabi, a province on southern Thailand's Andaman coast, is an almost otherworldly region of labyrinthine archipelagos, where islands seem to erupt vertically out of the sea and secluded beaches are only accessible by colorfully adorned long tail boats. Krabi's myriad of bays and coves have sheltered pirates, merchants, and sea gypsies for thousands of years and archaeological evidence indicates that Krabi was originally inhabited as early as 25,000 - 35,000 years ago!
With attractions including hot springs, a wildlife sanctuary, sea caves, flourishing coral reefs and exotic marine life, limestone cliffs that draw rock climbing enthusiasts from around the world, and national parks that include the island paradises of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, one could easily spend weeks in Krabi and leave yearning for more.

Sandy Zimmerman is a syndicated Show, Film and Dining Reviewer, Travel Writer, and Talk Show Host of the Las Vegas Today Show program and Discover the Ultimate Vacation Travel Specials. She has been published in Dubai, Japan, England, as well as in the United States.