Blasting off with the hill tribes...


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Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha
April 29th 2009
Published: May 13th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Along with Max & Yinca, we all had high hopes of what we could do in the Luang Nam Tha Provice.. promises of experiencing the hill tribes, trekking through the Nam Ha NPA (National Protected Area) all awaited us but sadly it was not all we had hoped... After getting dropped off at the usual bus station arrangement 10km outside the town we protested against paying the 10,000kip cost to get us into... Read Full Entry



Photos are below
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3rd December 2009

knowledge behind the pictures
Dear Sophie and Dale, thank you for the pictures which have been created be mere chance. In displaying, you could have better separated the Tai rocket festival and your visit of the Akha village in your presentation. The Tai rocket festival is in spring time when the first rain has been coming, that is why the large maeng mau insects, which fly in millions in the evenings after rain. You may collect them and make a nice dish. Muang Sing is a region of the Tai Lue, the same Tai group as in neighboring Sipsongpanna of China. You have been very lucky to watch the bang-fai festival (rocket launching) which is a religious festival (actually prior-to-Buddhism), wich is also widely celebrated among the Lao and other Tai tribes. It is also called the Naga-rocket festival, invoking the age-old (re-named in Buddhist terms) Tai god of the rain, water and prosperity. This is a very festive day, and one of its characteristics is a little bit an obscene character, like carnival, etc. Due to the background of fertility, this day is also sexually explicit, by displaying pappe-mache models of sexual organs, etc., in some places. This means, men and women and children dress in odd costumes, everybody is kidding, even small monk kids are allowed to play around, in this case even with playing guns... which in normal life is not acceptable. The fire rockets made of bamboo which are 4-8 metres long, are carried in a procession to the launching place. This is a competition for the best ornamented rocket, long rocket, and the manner of joyful procession by the carriers and followers. the followers may come from the same village, or same extended family, etc. Muang Sing, as many other regions in Laos, are miedly composed of different ethnic groups, wheras mostly the Tai have a higher social development since a long time. Dominant in Muang Sing are the Tai Lue, settlement of many Tai Dam (Black Tai) villages in the recent time, and such ethnic groups as Iko (Akha) and Len-Ten... You were very lucky to have been in the region, to see this event, and meet some of the peoples. There, you was also safe-guarded by a man with a real weapon who was for sure not "having an eye on the small monks, or novices". The region is situated directly at the national border, and in some surrounding villages on top of some hills there are living peoples who are a little bit back in their social development and hove partly differing ideas on force and conflict management. Unfortunately, not every of your comments is fitting for the respective photographs. Best regards, ai lii (a researcher on Tai cultures)
27th June 2011
Traditional topless Akha hilltribe lady

photos
very good

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