Talk:Akha people

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I see quite a few external links, but nothing cited as a reference. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:14, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Uncommented removal[edit]

The following was anonymously removed without an edit summary "Most serious however is the removal of Akha children from Akha villages for coerced conversion and as a means of raising money, promoting them as orphans when in fact they may not be. These issues have been addressed by American activist Matthew McDaniel who has been working with the Akha people in Thailand." Since there was no citation and I known nothing about this, I am just "raising the flag" here rather than restore. - Jmabel | Talk 23:30, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Hello, I recently added several key facts to the article. I am relatively new to Wikipedia and don't know how to make those fancy bibliography sections, so if you're curious, my primary source was: Tuviya 07:28, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi, Tuviya. I don't think that the web site you used is the best source possible. Does anyone have any objection to my adding some more recent academic citations to this? Kagillogly (talk) 23:43, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Feel free. Also, you can possibly communicate with the author of the site here: Talk:Matthew McDaniel. His web site has an email address, too. See the home page:
He, Matthew McDaniel, sometimes has info with Wikipedia-quality references on his site, and can point it out to you in his emails. His email address is at the top of his home page. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:17, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Opium or tobacco pipe in image[edit]

Could someone knowledgeable please help here? We need to know whether the pipe in the image is intended for smoking opium or for tobacco. I was told when I took the picture that the man was smoking an opium pipe but some (anonymous) person has queried why it is called an opium pipe on the image page and a tobacco pipe here. It would be good to resolve this issue. John Hill 22:19, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Do all opium pipes look like the ones that are used in the depictions in opium dens? The straight ones with a largish bowl, that is. Is there any reason not to trust the information you were given when you took the picture?
Peter Isotalo 20:08, 17 May 2007 (UTC)


Note. First comment below moved here from my talk page. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:04, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi, please consider undoing the links you just added to this entry. The links that I removed are not relevant to the article and they all fail our external links guidelines.

  • The first link that I removed was to a foundation, foundations related to the tribe are inappropriate as the subject of the external link is the foundation itself and not the tribe itself, also foundations are not neutral links.
  • Ditto for museums.
  • The third link that I removed is dead.
  • The fourth doesnt offer any information which the article wouldn't contain if it wasn't featured (see WP:ELNO #1).
  • The fifth is a personal page with no real information.
  • The sixth is dead.
  • The seventh is a commercial link.
  • The eighth is a dead link.
  • The ninth is to a commercial site.
  • The tenth is to a commercial site which doesn't offer any information that couldn't be written into the article.

I check out every link that I remove and assess whether it meets our guidelines or not. Again, please consider removing these links. ThemFromSpace 16:14, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

It has been awhile since I looked at the links. I am removing the dead links now. Will get back to you about the others when I get more time today or tomorrow to look at them.
I see 2 dead links and one link reported as an attack site according to the Firefox browser filter. In my edit summary I mistakenly said it was the MS Internet Explorer filter. I removed that attack-site link too.
I went ahead and checked that site page in MS Internet Explorer. It shows a few paragraphs of relevant info and then quickly changes to a page saying that it is only a preview. To get the full info one must buy a DVD. So it is good to remove that link since it does not provide any relevant free info for more than a few seconds.
I removed the link about shamanic tribal communities worldwide. It may be relevant, but it does not mention "akha" anywhere on the site. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I am removing this article from my watchlist. I did very little editing of it, and it looks like I don't have time to spend here arguing about external links. Others will have to continue this discussion. Please do not comment on my talk page, User:Themfromspace. Discussion can continue here between those who have more time. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:58, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Ok. I removed two more links, both to organizational sites with points of view. The link section seems decent now. ThemFromSpace 20:33, 5 October 2009 (UTC)


"The ethnic group may have originated in Mongolia around 1500 years ago." How came a "Burmo-Tibetan" people from Mongolia? Can I remove that text? Haabet 15:34, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Did you already remove it? It is a common belief among Akha. You can not just remove it. Can you remove a passage that say Roman people's belief of them originating from wolves from Roman article? Dagvadorj (talk) 04:54, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Find a reference and put that back again. Hafspajen (talk) 08:56, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Potential sources[edit]

--Carwil (talk) 14:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

--Lric9 (talk) 17:32, 14 May 2012 (UTC)thanks!!!!

Diet: Dogs[edit]

I was recently listening to a podcast and someone briefly mentioned the Akha eat dogs (known from personal experience) and so I looked into it and found some books which make this statement as well:

> Page 306

> Page 157

> Short article in which author makes this statement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by B23Rich (talkcontribs) 18:36, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Issues in Thailand[edit]

The following is copied from Draft:San-Suk Dormitory for Underprivledged Hill-tribe Children. The subject of the draft itself doesn't appear notable enough for it to be passed, but it includes an overview that could be incorporated into this article. Content created by User:Kellowayc. --Paul_012 (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Background on Akha and Issues[edit]

The Akha are one of the ethnic minority hill tribes of northern Thailand with origins in Tibet[1]. They inhabit parts of China, northern Thailand, and Myanmar around the golden triangle border area, as well as Laos and Vietnam [2] . Their population is over 400,000, 32,041 of which live in Thailand according to the 1989-1992 census[2]. There are approximately 320 Akha villages in Thailand, and they are considered to be one of the poorest Thai hill tribes[3]. In addition to poverty, Akha hill tribes face many issues including, but not limited to: discrimination, drug use, HIV/AIDS, relocation, lack of citizenship, prostitution, and an endangered language[4][5][6][7].

For instance, Akha have one of the highest rates of addiction among hill-tribes as well as the highest risk for contracting STDS and HIV/AIDS[6]. Their location in the golden triangle has wrapped them into turbulent politics of the opium trade and human trafficking [5][6][8]. The Akha have a negative reputation and association with the narcotics trade as growers and users, making them a focus of reform by the Thai government as seen in the establishment of the 1982 Committee for the Solution of National Security Problems involving Hill Tribes and the Cultivation of Narcotic Crops[4].

Akha are also associated with deforestation due to their swidden agriculture practices. As early as the 1940s, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) convinced the Thai forestry department that swidden agriculture was harmful to the environment and contributing to deforestation[8]. Since the 1941 Forest Act, the Thai government began protecting more land, coming to a head in the 1980s and 90s with the creation of many national parks and state-building development projects like the Doi Tung Royal Project[4][8][9].Today, 28.78% of Thailand is considered a protected area[4] and over 10 million people live in these protected areas[7]. This has led to the eviction of many Akha people and controversy between the Akha and the Thai Forestry Department as land use rights restrict traditional Akha livelihood activities and shifting settlements[5][4][10]. Despite a clause in the 2007 Thai constitution that requires prior consultation and public consent before establishing new protected areas, indigenous and tribal voices remain unheard due to lack of full and effective participation[7].

Akha also face major issues surrounding citizenship. Though the 1965 Citizenship Act granted Thai citizenship to indigenous peoples who were born in Thailand, provided their parents were Thai nationals, many with legitimate claim to citizenship are often excluded due to lack of birth registration[4]. The United Nations Children’s fund found that approximately 50,000 children born in Thailand each year are not registered at birth[11]. The Citizenship Act was not revised until 2008 to make the citizenship application and granting process faster and more accessible[4]. Still, as Dr. Robert W Spires said, "proving ones Thai citizenship as a hill tribe person is [still] a cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive process[11]." An estimated 296,000 some hill-tribe people in Thailand still lack citizenship[4]. This is a major problem for Akha people as it further restricts their freedom of movement, and bars them from public services like health care and education [4][10]. Education is an especially pertinent issue for hill-tribe youth, who not only face barriers due to lack of ID cards but do not always live in a village where there is a public school[11]. In addition, hill-tribe children have disproportionally high drop out rates[11].

All these issues taken into account make hill-tribe children particularly vulnerable to human trafficking and prostitution[11] [6]. Whether it be a lack of education or pressures to support their families, hill-tribe youth are often forced to seek work outside their village. Yet, “once a hill tribe person moves outside their local province for work, they become highly vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation and limited to low paying jobs”[11].

Thailand has made several international legal commitments to respect and recognize the rights of indigenous, such as ratifying the International convention in the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples[4]. Nonetheless, the 2007 constitution does not explicitly recognize indigenous peoples of Thailand’s identity and many believe they still face discrimination and lack a voice in policy-making[4][7][5].

  1. ^ "Akha". The Hilltribes of Thailand. Thailand Online. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Kammerer, Cornelia Ann (Nov. 1998). "“Descent, Alliance, and Political Order among Akha". American Ethnologist Library. 25: 659–674. JSTOR 6645859.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "The Akha". Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Anaya, James (Dec. 2010). "Indigenous Peoples of Thailand". FOCUS. 62. Retrieved 5 March 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d Levy, Jonathan. "The Akha and Modernization; A Quasi Legal Perspective". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Prevention of HIV/AIDS among Ethnic Minorities of the Upper Mekong Region through Community-based Non-Formal and Formal Education" (PDF). UNESCO. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas in Thailand; A Review" (PDF). Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Sturgeon, Janet C. (2005). Border Landscapes: The Politics of Akha Land Use in China and Thailand. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books. 
  9. ^ "Doi Tung Royal Project". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "An Overview of the Akha". Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Spires, Robert W. (2015). Preventing Human Trafficking: Education and NGOs in Thailand. Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.