The Akha

The Akha people were originally an autonomous nation located in Mongolia. Over the centuries, various political and economic distresses have driven them southward into five different countries: China, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Though no formal census has been taken, there are an estimated two million Akha in these five nations. Approximately 70,000 Akha call Thailand home, and most live in the mountainous northern province of Chiang Rai. The Akha have a beautiful and complex culture with scores of legends, customs and rituals traditionally passed down from father to son. Genealogy is very important to the Akha, and most men can recite it back for seventy generations.

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