Akha Village

The Akha raise their villages high in the mountains as bastions of refuge for those who follow in the way of their ancestors. Hunting, growing and gathering rice, establishing homes and villages, receiving guests indeed, nearly all aspects of living and dying are conducted in a manner and attended with observances conforming to their unwritten tradition. This common inheritance, enshrined in the memory and speech of each individual, lives in the community, whose welfare and harmony is the enduring concern of all: living leaders and followers and their ancestors, whom they recall by name. In the village, they commune, nourishing and being nourished. Akha is the name of this tribe they call themselves. Thai people usually call them ‘Gaw or Eegaw’. There are 65,000 Akha living in Nothern Thailand which distributed in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, Nan, and Lampang. They are originally from Yunna province in China where most of them still live. The Akha language is classified in the southern division of the Lolo (Yi) branch of the Tibeto-Burman family. Literacy in the language is limited to the Christian community. Some of them also speak Shan or Nothern Thai and Lahu. The Akha people accustom to slash and burn farming. They are skilled growing hill rice, beans, tea, corn, coffee and variety of vegetables. The Akha also raise livestock including pigs, chickens, ducks, goats, cattle, and water buffalo to supplement their diets and to use for their sacrifice ceremony in the village.