Published: April 3rd 2008March 28th 2008
MUANG SING - AKHA MINORITY- 3 days - 8 villages
We have started to walk towards our first stop. It was very hot day, so we were sweating like roasting piggies. We had our lunch prepared in front of us by lovely watter fall. And it was tasty, BBQ fish and beef, veg, roasted peanuts and of course sticky rice...walk to our next stop village where we met our main guide Pome.
It was his village, he showed us around the village, we met the people of the village at their main meeting point where they discuss every day's happenings. We had opportunity to ask them questions and they asked us back. Also we were shown bachelors huts, that are usually on outskirts of villages, they are little huts for adolescent men, before they get married for them to gain experience, they meet up there with girls... the rest is history. We have learnt a lot about the Akha people and their customs.
Akha customs and believes:
Some are more interesting that others.
* When you come to the village you come through spirit gate, which is guarded by "weapons"", also you are given a tea to make sure
you are not a ghost.
* Men can have more than one wife. When girls becomes pregnant she can choose her husband regardless who the father is.
*The Akha wedding is a 3 days, first day the bride gets a cows poo thrown at her to see how strong she is. Next day they visit their parents, and the last day they go and work on rice field together.
* The Akha people believe they were brought on earth by swing from gods, so every village has got a swing, and every year they have big celebrations, also their lives are mainly evolved round rice.
* Another custom is if a pig has a little once under the house, it has to be sacrificed.
* Pregnant women can eat only certain thing at certain time in their pregnancy, the Akha people also believe a baby does not have soul attached to them until they are about two months old, they believe that during pregnancy the baby souls moves from room to room.. this is one of the reasons why they do not allow to photo little children.
* Long time ago when the westerners started to come to their
villages, there was a plague and lots of Akha died, and they have blamed it on the tourist taking photos. Many locals don't even remember this story, however still do not like to have their photos taken.
Although some of their believes seem to be bizarre to us, they are lovely and kind people that are forced to forget their customs, because of the influence by west. Most young people do not even know their own dialect and are ashamed or their heritage, as they don't want to be perceived as stupid people from mountains.... sad really.
This project is funded by Germans, hence it is very tourist oriented, like the accommodation is very posh, you receive a massage and there is entertainment every day.
The first day children of the village come and sang, dance and did little show for us, it was lovely. Especially one little boy who span on his tummy, he was right little show off and another girl that you could tell she was a character and is going to be trouble when she grows up. However lovely it was you could see some children did not really want to be there,
which again was sad as we would not mind if they did entertain us. Later after drinking Lao Lao, which we could not avoid, and after few I (Romi) started calling it Wow Wow), the bit tipsy women sang their folk songs to us.
Next day in different village we had two lovely man coming and playing their traditional instruments to us.
We got shown and tried ourselves how to spin a cotton, how to make a fabric, how they pound a rice, make a sword..... it was lovely and only way how we could see their traditions, even that we knew that all of this was done for money. Good thing about it all is, that the villages get some part of out money to help them to improve their lives. Whatever they think is better by improving, the technology is inevitable, and not always good....
We had lovely time, even that we would be just as happy it it would not be as posh and we had to sleep on the floor ( with the pigglets :o)) , and hope this lovely kind people will keep their traditions going for their sakes not for tourism.
little childrenin the village are so inventive, they play with whatever they can find, at first we did not understand what was this little boy doing, he was holding something in his hand squatting down, then we realised he was pretending he has got three legs and as his third leg he was using dead deer's leg, only later we saw the same boy waving at us with same "toy" only this time he had one in each hand.
The treck it self was not that hard, although the heat was unbearable, hence it made us very tired. And in the old tradition " something does happened to one of us", Me Romi sprang my ankle ( for the second time, same leg), and the language used when this happened was not pretty.
By the way me Romi fall in love with little piglets, I am so getting them... when I grow up and have my own farm... LOL
MUANG SING - AKHA MENSINA - 3 dny - 8 vesnic
Zacali jsem vyslap, bylo strasne horko, takze jsme se brzy potili jak dvere od chliva. Mistni domorodci nam
pripravili obed, primo pred nasima ocima,
u nadherneho vodapadu. Bylo to moc dobre, opekana ryba, hovezi, zelenina, cerstve prazene buraky a samozrejme lepkava ryze.. pote jsme pokracovali do dalsi vesnice, kde jsme potkali naseho hlavniho pruvodce Pome.
Byla to vesnice z ktere pochazel, provedl nas po ni. Potkali jsme mistni obyvatele, na jejich "namesticku", kde se vypraveji kazdodeni zazitky. Meli jsme moznost se navzajem zeptat na co jsme chteli. Take nam ukazal "Mladencke chatky", jsou to male chatky na okraji vesnice. Zde si muzou mladi hosi nazbirat zkusenosti do manzelstvi, potkaji se tady z devcaty, no a... tak dale.
Dozvedeli jsme se dalsi zajimave veci o teto mensine.
Tradice a zvyky Akha:
Nektere jsou vice zajimave nez jine.
* Kdyz prichazite do vesnice, projdete "Dusevni branou", ktera je branena "zbranemi". Je Vam take dan caj, aby se ujistli, ze nejste duch.
* Muzi mohou mit vice zen. Kdyz holka otehotni, muze si vybrat koho chce za manzela, a vubec nezalezi na tom, kdo je otec ditete.
* Akha svatba trva 3 dny, prvni den hazeji na nevestu kravince, aby se ujistili, ze je dost silna. Druhy den nasleduje navsteva rodicu a posledni den jdou novomanzele spolecne pracovat na ryzove pole.
* Akha veri, ze byli
poslani na zem z nebe, bohy pomoci "houpacky" , a proto kazda vesnice ma "houpacku". Kazdy rok slavi svuj prichod na zem, tancenim a velkymi oslavami. Jejich zivoty jsou orientovany kolem ryze.
* Dalsi zvyk: pokud se bachyni narodi prasatka pod domem, tak ji musi objetovat.
* Tehotne zeny mohou jist pouze urcite jidlo v urcity cas tehotenstvi. Take veri, ze duse ditete neni pripojena k telu, asi az po dvou mesicich zivota ditete se pripoji. Veri, ze behem tehotenstvi se tato duse pohybuje z pokoje do pokoje.. protoze tato dusicka je krehka, Akha nedovoli fotit male deti.
* Hodne davno, kdyz belosi zacali navstevovat jejich vesnice, prisla pohroma a hodne mistnich lidi umrelo, a protoze si to nemohli jinak vysvetlit tak to svedli na turisty z fotaky. Mnoho lidi si to nepamatuje, ale stale se brani foceni.
I presto, ze nam nektere zvyky pripadnou zvlastni, Akha jsou velmi prijemni a hodni lide, kteri jsou nuceni zapomenout sve tradice kvuli vlivu ze zapadu. Mnoho maladych Akha uz ani neznaji svoje nareci a stidi se za sve tradice, protoze nechteji byt povazovani za hloube burany z hor... je to smutne.
Tento plan je financovan nemci, a proto je to
velmi turisticky zamerene. Ubytovani prilis noblesni, dostanete kazdy den masaz a kazdy vecer je nejake predstaveni.
Prvni vecer nam mistni deti zpivaly, a tancovaly, bylo to rozkosne. Hlavne jeden maly klucina , ktery se rad predvadel, tocil se na zemi na brisku. Take nezapomeneme na jednu panovacnou slecnu, ktera az vyroste, tak chran buh. Bylo to moc krasne, ale bohuzel na nekterych detech to bylo videt, ze tam nechtely byt, coz zase bylo trosku smutne, protoze nam by to vubec nevadilo, kdyby nas nebavily. Po mistnim piti Lao Lao, ktere mu jsme se nemohli vyhnout a Ja Romca to zacala nazyvat Wow Wow, nam mistni, taky trosku pripite, zeny zpivaly folkove pisne. Dalsi vecer v jine vesnici, nam prisli zahrat na jejich tradicni nastroje dva strasne mili panove.
Ukazali nam, a take jsme si to zkusili, jak natacet vlakno, tkat platno, mlatit ryzi, delani nozu.... bylo to moc pekna zkusenost, a jedina cesta jak jsme mohli jeste videt tuto mensinu a jejich tradice, i presto, ze jsme vedeli, ze penize tu hraji roli. Cas nasich penez dostanou tyto vesnice, aby si mohli zlepsit zivobyti. Co si predstavuji pod zlepsenim, to uz nevime, technologie je nevyhnutelna, a ne vzdy dobra...
Moc se nam to libilo, ikdyz bychom byly stejne stasnejsi, kdybychom spali na zemi s prasatky, a jen doufame, ze tito hodni lidicky zachovaji sve tradice kvuli sobe a ne turistum.
Deti v teto vesnici jsou velmi vynalezave, dokazou si hrat s cim koliv co jim prijde pod ruce. Nejdrive jsme nechapaly co jeden maly chlapecek dela, mel neco v ruce a drepel u toho, pote jsme si vsimly, ze predstiral, ze ma tri nozicky a jako treti nozicku pouzival nozicku od mrtve srnky. Pozdeji jsme videly toho sameho chlapecka jak nam mava ze svoji novou "hrackou", pouze ted mel v kazde ruce jednu.
Tura jako takova nebyla velmi narocna, ale bylo nesnesitelne horko, a proto nas to docela dost unavilo. A tradicne, protoze se na kazde ture neco musi stat, Ja Romca jsem si zvrtla kotnik ( po druhe, ta sama noha). A me vyjadrovaci schopnosti pri tom nebyly pekne.
Mimochodem, Ja (Romca) jsem si oblibila male prasatka, a az budu velka... a budu mit svuj statek, tak si je poridim....
There are more photos below