THE HILLTRIBES OF THAILAND
(text copyright © Siam Sun Tours, Chiang Mai)
|Palong Woman, near Palong Village in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand.|
There are but a few Palong villages in Thailand, all of them in the northern part of Chiang Mai province along the border to Myanmar (Burma).
In general, the Palongs can be found in Burma's eastern Shan state. At present the population is about 60000.
They belong to the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic linguistic family.
Their main livelihood is the cultivation of tanatep, a large leaf to wrap burmese cigars.
Both men and women decorate their teeth with gold.
The Palongs are easili recognized by the striking custom of their women, red sarong like garments, mostly a blue jacket with red collar and broad silver waistbands.
Formerly animist, most Palongs have converted to Buddhism.
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