GoEco - Thailand's AKHA Hilltribes

Organization Description: 

The Akha are a hill tribe of subsistence farmers known for their artistry. The ethnic group may have originated in Mongolia around 1500 years ago. Most of the remaining Akha people are now distributed in small villages among the mountains of China (where they are considered part of the Hani by the government, though this is a subject of some dispute among the Akha themselves), Laos (where they are considered Lao Sung), Myanmar (Burma), and northern Thailand, where they are one of the six main hill tribes. The Akha began arriving in Thailand in the early twentieth century and continue to immigrate, with some 80,000 now living in Thailand's northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai at high altitudes. Many of these villages can be visited by tourists on trekking tours from either of these cities. They speak Akha, a language in the Loloish (Yi) branch of the Tibeto-Burman family. Akha has a very closely related language with the Lisu and Lahu as they once belonged to the Lolohunter tribe people that once ruled the Paoshan and Teinchung plains before the invasion of Ming Dynasty (A.D 1644) in Yunan, China. The practice of their mythology includes ornately carved village gates made of wood where the guardian spirits are said to dwell. They have en extensive recollection of ancestors going back 15 generations and exhibited in chants.

Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai, 00000
Mission Statement: 

To support the indigenous AKHA Hilltribe's way of life while promoting sustainable cultural exchange between them and the international volunteers.

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