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Home > Main Library > Anthropology > Anthropological literature organised by ethnic group > Wa

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Individual Documents

Title: Cheek by Jowl
Date of publication: August 2007
Description/subject: A Wa village where happiness depends o­n how well you get along with the neighbors... "You have to be a gregarious type to live happily among the Wa hill tribe people sometimes called Lawa, of Burma’s eastern Shan State. A typical home is shared by several families, living in o­ne large common room, where adults and children alike eat, sleep and commune happily enough with each other. I was invited into o­ne such house in Wun San village, a four-hour drive from Kengtung in the far northeast of Shan State. The bamboo and timber structure, o­ne of about a dozen similar dwellings, was home to no less than 20 families, sharing o­ne windowless common room, ventilated o­nly by doors at each end. Two or three men were cooking a simple rice dish over a wood-fired stove, the smoke adding to the gloom. A roughly made bamboo bed sat nearby. In o­ne corner of the room sat an old, dirt-stained refrigerator and an electric fan. Naked lamp bulbs hung over some of the beds, but they gave out a weak light, powered by electricity from a generator driven by river water. Candles are still a necessity in this remote village. The oldest member of this o­ne-house community, an 83-year-old man, explained to me the remarkable lifestyle of Wun San and other Wa hill tribe villages, including customs probably found nowhere else in Burma..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2008