Akha Hill Tribe Woman ~ Thailand


An Akha Hill Tibe woman selling hill tribe items in Chiang Rai, North of Thailand.

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One of the many hill tribes of Thailand, the Akha Hill Tribe are the most commonly seen North of the Kingdom near Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, often found in night markets selling traditional colorful items.

The Akha are often most impoverished of the hill tribes, resisting assimilation into mainstream Thai culture.

Originally from the Mongolian area, the Akha emigrated in South East Asia and Thailand in the early 20th century mainly due to their persecution in Burma. They are a very colorful tribe often recognizable from their headdress adorned with silver beads and coins that many drunk young tourists end up buying and walking around with it, beer in hand.

The Akha put very heavy emphasis on genealogy and have a unique and rich oral literature tradition, in which they can recite their ancestors 15 generations back.

The Akha are originally animists, believing in Spirits that should be respected in order to avoid negative impact on our world. They believe in a natural cycle of balance that, if disrupted, can result in illness, hardship, or even death. However, many villages today have been converted to Christianity, diluting their culture and traditions.

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Things I love today:

The smell of lingering perfume

The sight of people feeding pigeons

The taste of warm brownies

The sound of laughter

The feel of being grateful

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Quick Tips:

When shooting people during daytime under harsh sunlight, use the camera flash to fill in the shadows. Sunlight creates ugly shadows on the face and the use of fill-flash helps getting better portraits.

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