Na Fa, a tiny Black Lahu girl, takes a drag on her father’s rough tobacco cheroot. Her father looks on and encourages her, proud to see his daughter growing up so fast. When this picture was taken in the late 1970s, Thailand’s hill peoples had no idea tobacco was detrimental to their health, and it was common to see very young children, some still breastfeeding, smoke tobacco rolled in corn sheaths or banana leaves. When schools and central government influence infiltrated the remote mountains, the practice ceased.
Taken on kodachrome slide film, 64 asa, nikon FM2, nikkor 50 mm 1.4 lense. Scanned on a plustek slide scanner at high res then cleaned in photoshop. I blurred the background to make it easier to ‘heal’ the mould.


young, girl, smoking, child, thailand, asia, tribal, health, hilltribe, cheroot

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

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  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47about 4 years ago

    Another remarkable image, & Good Job on your healing powers! A real paradox here; hard to see old ways disappearing, impossible, & probably not desirable, to prevent it.

  • So true, it was disturbingly quaint to watch infants smoke these hard-core cheroots and chew betel nut.

    – John Spies

  • oulgundog
    oulgundogabout 4 years ago

  • oulgundog
    oulgundogalmost 4 years ago

  • Thanks for the feature!

    – John Spies

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