Thailand's Akha, the long wandering
The known history of the Akha, a People long left by the wayside, began over a thousand years ago along the Tibetan plateau. A people runned away from their successive settlements by a succession of wars waged on them by different regional powers. A peaceful people from the mountain range, wandering from forests to forests, they disseminated over different high plain territories on the frontier areas of China, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
The Akha are today about 1.8 million people, of which some 70,000 have end up in the north of Thailand. These peaceful mountaineers have held and still hold true to their culture and customary laws - transmitted orally over more than 70 generations.
This photographic work, initiated in 2007, shows the Akha everyday life, their traditions and their confrontation with the evolutions of the so-called modern world.
Traditions on borrowed time
Far from the tourist clichés, this immersion of nearly 10 years in the Akha world helped me approach their rites and beliefs. Between daily life rhythms and legends, these lives and beliefs tell the simple and warm humanity of the Akhas, rooted in an ancient story always beginning again, anew, over the days and seasons.
Speaking a bit their language, going back and forth, again and over, to stay and live with them, I became a privileged witness of their lives, their joys and sorrows. I hope to show here, as keenly as possible, what survives of a culture and traditions threatened with extinction. A people suspended in time.