As we rounded the corner to step off of Mai-Ham we heard our hosts calling for us…
They met us with umbrellas in hand….just in case we wanted to be shielded from the sun!!!
We walked down a road to an ethnic conservation area where they have established villages that are intended to represent traditional ways of life. The people live and work in the villages and sustain themselves off of their agriculture and tourism monies.
This woman was working on another beautiful weaving…… Many of the women were taking care of small children and the fabric cradle in the corner was the norm. They would use their feet to pull on a cord attached to the cradle and it would swing quietly as they worked.
The Long-Neck Women belong to a tribe that greatly prizes having a long, sleek neck and the women wear metal coils around their neck (from a very young age), causing their necks to stretch. These coils are HEAVY and the adult women wear up to 25 rings. I really felt bad for them and especially for the young girls…… This woman invited us into her home, which was comprised of 2 rooms…..a bedroom and a kitchen/living area….
The houses were built from natural materials and I loved the geometry of the ceiling…..
The rice is in the bucket on the left and she would step on the end of the pole and the hammer would thump into the bucket.
Next, she dumped out the rice and shook it to remove the chaff from the rice….
Here she was showing the rice that was ready to be cooked…… Now, the interesting thing about this woman is that she is in her late SEVENTIES!!!! We were told that she had never married. This was known because she wore a white dress.
We next came upon this contraption that was used for grinding the corn….
This gentleman was introduced to us as the tribe doctor……
…..one dead finger!!!!
As we were leaving he asked what religion we were and told us that he was a Christian. When we replied that we were as well, the final greeting was “God bless you”!!! He then ran after us and presented us with bananas for a snack!!!
Now, I dont have any photos of the “Big-Ear Men”, but we did see a few at the Elephant camp. They use earrings to elongate their earlobes.
We left the encampment with lots of new, wonderful memories of the things and people that we had seen.