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Hill Tribe Embroidery
The Hill Tribes comprise of seven major tribes: Akha, Karen, Hmong , Yao, Lisu, Lawa, and Lahu, each has their own distinct culture, language, art and colourful style of dress. They make their homes in the mountainous regions of the North Of Thailand, Eastern Burma and Northern Laos. This area was known as the Golden Triangle as until recently this area produced the majority of the World's Opium.
These days the Hill Tribes grow mainly cash crops such as cabbages, strawberries and coffee and their income has increased as they are not being exploited by drug gangs. However modern life has had a disasterous effect on the traditional hill tribe way of life as young people of working age have left their villages to work in the city where they become assimulated into modern society.
A major part of the Hill Tribe culture is their traditional dress which consists of heavily embroidered clothes and head dress. Traditionally the ladies would make all the clothes for their family, which would be embroidered for decoration and to show a persons status. When the clothes wore out good pieces of embroidery would be recycled into bags, pouches and wall hangings. Infact embroidery became so important that a brides dowry was often paid in the form of embroidery.
We are on a mission to save this beautiful embroidery from dying out by establishing a market for this beautiful work. To this end I went out on my motorbike and met some of the ladies who sit at home embroidering, in their villages high up in the Golden Triangle, I came back with this great selection of Hill Tribe Embroidery.
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