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John Spies

Mae Hong Son, Thailand

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Artist's Description

An Akha girl in her house in far northern Laos wears heavy silver jewelry, part of her everyday traditional costume. When she grows older she will add more silver dangles and baubles to her headdress. Akha of various sub-groups live in sothern China, Laos, Burma and Thailand. Some remote villages in Laos and Burma still cultivate opium poppy, and in the past the raw opium was traded for silver coins from colonial India. Silversmiths smelted the coins to produce fine jewelry like this girl is wearing. When Akha girls marry they keep their silver and pass it on to their daughters.

Artwork Comments

  • Margaret Harris
  • John Spies
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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