The Karen Tribe Of Burma And Thailand And Their Beautiful Crafts

I am intrigued with ancient ethnic peoples that can nonetheless be found all over the world today. One of these, the Karen tribe of Burma and Thailand, produce such beautiful materials, jewellery and basketry that they're catching the interest of fair trade groups within the U.S. and United kingdom.

The Karen tribe isn't a homogenous group. They're really an accumulation of tribes living within the hilly regions of Thailand and Burma that provide unique traditions in addition to their struggle for freedom from colonial rule and potential to deal with the oppressive populations in Burma which have pressed the Karen into poverty and isolated lives.

Many of the Karen towns have been in remote areas past the achieve of fundamental amenities for example water, energy, healthcare and education. Ailments for example t . b continue to be prevalent and, probably the most vulnerable, ladies and children who aren't able to attend school. Many Karen males join the resistance, departing their own families to look after themselves.Still, the tribes are usually easy and peaceful those who have been forced right into a bad situation.

Amongst their poverty, the tribal people typically accept hardly any. These were initially animists however, many have transformed into Christianity. They're easily forgiving and cooperative by character. Whenever you meet them, you will observe how happy and prayerful they're. However the people will have very couple of possessions, resting on floor mats, cooking on open fires and drawing water from nearby rivers.

But precisely due to their isolation and ease, the Karen have had the ability to sustain traditional practices which make their life styles culturally wealthy and appealing. Houses continue to be made that old way - of teak and bamboo in most cases built on stilts, the spaces underneath put aside for animals. The tribes' people put on colorful clothing and hair pieces decorated with alarms, beads and fringes. The tribes are a fan of brass and silver jewellery which are greater than indications of wealth, but they are worn by women to indicate beauty as well as their status as single or married.

The favourite of fundamental essentials practices from the Lengthy Neck and Lengthy Ears tribes. The Red-colored Karen tribe is known for the rings that ladies put on around their necks, stretching their necks for existence as the Lengthy Ears get their women put on created elephant tusks within their ears.

Such groups are the earliest tribes within this place in the world.The tribes individuals are naturally skilled artists. They use silver and brass to create intricate and different jewellery. They've created lush materials from cotton, made of woll and hemp with complex designs which have been passed down for decades. Their basketry, constructed of bamboo and wicker, are attractive and functional.

Regrettably, these crafts might have easily been lost. The tribal individuals attention had been attracted with other concerns like armed resistance and joining today's world through other way of earnings.

However, groups for example Gaiam Existence are tapping the abilities of Karen tribes to produce crafts which will attract wide marketplaces. Connecting track of groups for example local hero's Hser Hay Paw's weaving and sewing cooperative, they make certain that individuals from as far because the U . s . States help really make a difference with this hillside people.

Traditional weaving and sewing abilities are increasingly being drawn on to create attractive hands-made bags, jewelry and shawls. Jewellery-making talents are now being up-to-date to create bracelets, bracelets, ear-rings and rings having a rustic feel but traditional designs. Hill tribe baskets are actually designed for different functions and therefore are making their method to houses midway all over the world.

First and foremost, it's these abilities which are giving tribes people additional causes of earnings which are opening on their behalf possibilities for education, healthcare and sustainable livelihood they are able to pass lower to another decades. Fair trade guidelines make sure that artists receive fair wages, can work at home, which they practice their crafts and arts without doing harm to the atmosphere.

On the finish, altering the way you go shopping, increasingly selective of where and how the items we buy become means that we're helping within our own small way result in the world a much better place.


1. Craig Garrison. "Hser Gay Paw: Quite The Hero for Karen Hill Tribe Women." Gaiam Existence. Article online at

2. Saw Spenzen. "Who're the Karen people of Burma?" Buddies from the Karen People of Burma. Article online at http://world wide

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