Myanmar is fast becoming a popular destination for people looking for a cultural and active holiday. The hill tribes of Myanmar are fascinating and visitors are likely to encounter them at markets and whilst hiking in the hills of the north. Each tribe has its own particular traditions and customs and add a rich culture to the Burmese way of life. Here are a few tribes that you might encounter in Myanmar.
The Padaung people originally came from Thailand and are very distinctive in their appearance. These are the giraffe neck women who elongate their necks by using brass rings. Their appearance has made them a major tourist attraction and many live off the proceeds from photo opportunities. The rings themselves cause a deformity of the collar bone and compression of the ribs and many of these women are unable to support the weight of their own heads. Like then or not these are part of a historic culture in this part of the world.
In Shan State there are a number of hill tribes and the Lisu are one. At one time these people were animist in belief but many have converted to Christianity. The Shan believe they are the keepers of tea production in Myanmar and so many of these Lisu people will work in that industry.
The Moken are the sea gypsies in Myanmar and spend all their life on the water. Theirs is a nomadic life and when boys come of age they build their own boats and move away from the parents once married to a girl. The Moken can give to depths of 200 feet looking for shellfish and breathe through air hoses held above water. They are often seen off the coast of Myanmar travelling from island to island.
The Chin tribes people were remarkable for having their faces tattooed. This practice no longer happens but a visit to some of these villages will highlight an old lady or two with a tattooed face. It was traditionally seen as a sign of beauty and to keep other tribes away but the practice is no longer supported in this part of the world.
The Naga live in the North of Myanmar in Nagaland but there are also those who live in Myanmar between the Chindwin River and the Indian border. These people were renowned as headhunters and also for their elaborate costumes and headdresses.
The various tribes of Myanmar are fascinating to encounter and learn more of the culture. These are just a few but there are many more.
Full story and images: Epoch Times
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