Laos is a patchwork of ethnic groups. The remote mountains of Northern Laos are home to the Akha tribes who live according to their ancient traditions and customs.
One of the poorest minorities of Laos, they are famous for their women’s unique clothes and headdresses.
Traditionally, tunics are made of handwoven cotton dyed with indigo and embellished.
The headdress starts as a simple cotton bonnet that is given to young teenage girls. Coloured beads, silver balls and coins, and other decorations are offered as gifts as they grow older and attached to the bonnet. When it gets too heavy, a bamboo frame is added under the bonnet and more ornaments can be added. Headdresses of older women can weight up to 5kg and are worn constantly: working in the fields, bathing and sometimes, even sleeping!
Stay tuned to get to know these friendly minorities better!
Claire & Marcella
- To arrange trekking trips in the remote mountains around Phongsali and visit timeless Akha villages while supporting these communities, refer to Amazing Lao Travel, and the very helpful and knowledgeable Sivongxai.
- Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!