The Mlabri: Spirits of the Yellow Leaves | Holzinger | Visual Ethnography
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The Mlabri: Spirits of the Yellow Leaves

Geza J. Holzinger, Shu Nimonjiya


This photo essay introduces an ethnic group, the Mlabri in Thailand. The Mlabri had traditionally lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers in fthe rainforest that spread out in mountainous regions in northern area of Thailand. Due to their traditional lifestyle, they have been called "phi tong lueang" (spirits of the yellow leaves) in Thai and Laotian. Nowadays they have extremely small population, about 400 individuals, and live sedentary life in permanent settlements that are scattered in two provinces of Thailand Phrae and Nan and in a small village in Laos,, as result of a development programs by a foreign missionary, the government and the royal family. Today they engage in wage working, cash crop cultivation and ethnic tourism that introduced as alternative ways for economic self-sufficiency.


Mlabri; post-nomadic; hunter-gatherers; Northern Thailand; desappearing cultures; visual anthropology

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ISSN Print 2499-9288
ISSN Online 2281-1605
Publisher Edizioni Museo Pasqualino
Patronage University of Basilicata, Italy
Web Salvo Leo

Periodico registrato presso il Tribunale di Palermo con numero di registrazione 1/2023