Photographer's Note

Htan Awi welcomed me
with an open smile
she lives on slopes of the green hills
in the Chin state.

In the workshop I posted a closer portrait of Htan Awi.

On the south of Chin state there are different tribal Chin clans: the Chinbon, Chinbok and Layhtoo Chin with three different kinds of facial tattoos. This tattooing tradition started centuries ago, when Chin tribes started tattooing the girl's face to avoid them from be captured as slave by the men from other tribespeople.
Nowadays only elder women are still tattooed.

Chin is one of the ethnic groups in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The Chins are found mainly in western part of Burma (the Chin State) and numbered circa 1.5 million. They also live in nearby Indian states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur and Assam. Owing to Mizo influence and Baptist missionaries' intervention, 80%-90% of the population are Christians. However, a sizeable minority of the Chin adhere to their traditional tribal beliefs, as well as to Theravada Buddhism and, as Bnei Menashe, to Judaism.

The Chin are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Burma. The Chin people are Tibeto-Burman groups and they probably came to Burma, especially the Chindwin valley in the late 9-10 century A.D. Most Chin people moved westward and they probably settled in the present Chin State around A.D 1300-1400 A.D. The original meaning of "Chin" is clearly unclear, even though many scholars have proposed many different theories.

Traditionally, the Chin were animists. However, during the era of European imperialism, many converted to Christianity. It would also be noteworthy that because of the current situation in Myanmar hundreds of Chins [Zo] are scattered in Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia.

from Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Luca Belis (Mistral) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 527 W: 74 N: 2119] (15402)
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