Saturday, February 2, 2013

Karen hill tribes

Karen tribes seem to be divided into a number of sub groups. The mahouts we met at Patara Elephant Farm, were for the main part Karen and the tunics we wore for the day were definitely Karen. This tribe is renowned for its beautiful weaving, mostly cotton and some hemp if I understood correctly. Colours cover reds, pinks, greens, blues, purples, a veritable rainbow once the colours mix in the weaving process. We observed Karen women at Baan Tong Luang weaving, using traditional methods, with threads going around their waists and secured to a post to maintain correct tension. The work they were doing was beautiful, with simple cotton threads combining to produce gorgeous, textured cloth which they make into scarves and table runners.
These people were very friendly, and happily welcomed us to their village. The women tend to wear striped, woven trousers with colourful embroidered tunics of a dark blue or black. The headdress they wear is a simple piece of cloth wrapped around their head. Originally from Tibet, the Karen came to Myanmar from China, and now, being so close to the border have some groups in Thailand after escaping persecution from the government of Myanmar. 31.1.2013

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