PHOTOGRAPHY: AKHA PEOPLE LAOS
The Spirit of Akha Communities
The Akha ethnic group originated from Yunnan, China and Tibet. Being forced off their land in China through large-scale insurrections in the last two centuries, they began migrating into Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. At the time, borders were of little interest. The Akha people were just looking for a site ecologically suited to continue their way of life undisturbed.
They are mountain dwellers and their oral language reacts to their natural environment. There is no simple equivalent for the English word "go" in their language. They only use words to describe what direction they are going: up or down. It is known that the government has relocated many Akha families to live in the lowlands for better access to roads, schools and markets. Having to relocate can easily affect the Akha and other Lao ethnic groups that are strongly connected to their land.