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Photographer's Note

The Akha are an indigenous hill tribe that live at high altitudes in the mountains of Northern Laos where they constitute one of the largest amongst more than 20 ethnic groups in the region. They have perhaps the most colourful and interesting costume of the entire minority group in Laos, but the woman’s magnificent traditional headdress holds the most distinction.

A striking aspect about the headdress - which also defines their age and marital status- is that, traditionally it’s worn year round and everyday, while working and even while sleeping - they protect it by wrapping their head with a cotton cloth. It may be difficult for the modern world to comprehend this practice but the headdress is very much a part of their identity, tradition and life.

Her head is overwhelmed with coloured threads & beads at the sides and polished silver buttons and old colonial French-Indochina piastre silver coins glimmering before my eyes.

The silver is pure silver and handmade can weigh up to 2 kg or more.

Shooting location: Luang Namtha traditional market.

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4217 W: 141 N: 9698] (41936)
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