A Black Lahu girl wears her best clothes and jewelry during the Lahu New Year celebration in her village near the Burma border in northwest Thailand. She has chewed betel for years, and lacking any better make-up, she has smeared her face with some of her red dribble. The tobacco in her chewing mix has given her the glazy-eyed look.


burma, child, girl, jewelry, lahu, make up, thailand, tobacco, tribe

I am an Australian expat living in the hills of Mae Hong Son province Thailand (please visit cavelodge.com). I photograph almost everything, above and below ground.

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  • Daidalos
    Daidalosover 5 years ago

    Wonderful. Touching. Expressive.

  • thanks for being the first to comment on this shot too, I thought it was one of my better shots and was a little surprised at the lack of interest. The firewood in the background is stacked high because Lahu, by tradition, cannot collect any or do any other work for about 2 weeks throughout their New Year ceremonies.

    – John Spies

  • seereise
    seereiseabout 5 years ago


  • Thanks seereise, she is very cute

    – John Spies

  • AngelArtiste
    AngelArtisteabout 5 years ago

    Very pretty, and I like her costume. Why does she chew tobacco?

  • A few decades ago, the adults had no idea tobacco was bad for your health, so most people, including children, smoked or chewed it mixed with betel leaf and other natural products. They quickly became addicted. About 100 years ago, children in western countries also smoked.

    – John Spies

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