Parisa Applegarth | Women of Remote Hill Tribes in South East Asia (2015)

Chromogenic prints & pigment prints (open edition)

Exhibition print size:

45cm x 30cm (image size)

55cm x 40cm (paper size) 

(Photograph available in different sizes).

This series of photographs was taken during a five-week trek through Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in December 2014 - January 2015.  

In Myanmar I focused on Kengtung and trekked to seven hill tribes; the Lahushi, Waa, Akha, Ann, Sha, Back Lahu and Black Ann. Despite close proximity to one another, the tribes are very different, eachi having their own distinctive modes of dress and customs. Not far below the villages are communities being transformed by missionaries, governments and other influences. Whilst in the villages I was treated to hospitality and love from people who have had only limited contact with outsiders.

The tribes in Laos and Cambodia are more technologically advanced compared to those Myanmar.  The tribes I visited have more modern lifestyles and are commercialised due to tourism. I visited the Akha, Iko, Hmong and Khmu in Laos. In Cambodia I spent a few nights with the Khmer Loen tribe, including observing a spirit worshipping session to counter an outbreak of chickenpox. Sleeping in a hammock by a waterfall, and eating insects and spiders for snacks, is something I will never forget.