An example of an Akha village, with the traditional thatched roofs, found in Laos and Northern Thailand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Hill-Tribes in the north of Thailand are industrious, quiet and respectful people. Theirs is another world away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and rural towns. They live their lives in the mountains, forests and hills that make up most of the landscape of northern Thailand bordering Myanmar and Laos.
Although they were originally farmers they produce a wide variety of beautiful, rugged and hard-wearing, good quality clothing which is both robust and unique. Most of the products are supplied to shops in the mountain villages from where many find their way to the markets of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and other smaller towns.
Trade comes largely from international tourists who frequent the markets and visit the villages. These pictures were taken at the open market which takes place every Sunday at the ancient City Wall of Chiang Mai by ‘Tha Phae Gate’
The Hmong Meo are a section of the hill-tribe peoples from the north of South-East Asia. They are a diligent, patient and independent people from farming stock who originally migrated from southern China. They live and work in the mountainous regions where as well as garments they make ornaments and jewellery.
Jewellery is more likely to be found in the mountain village shops, rather than the towns. Under a government initiative the village shops only are supplied by the village factories who retail directly to the public and can also supply in quantity to on-sellers outside the villages who cannot buy from the factories direct. Everything is handmade so there is no mass production and at certain times of year the factories close down so supplies are short.
Here are some examples of rugged silver traditional pieces