Buying products made by Hill Tribe women artisans help prevent their daughters from being trafficked into sex slavery.
While each Hill Tribe culture is distinctly different, their origins are similarly shrouded in myth and legend and they share histories of migration and consequent persecution by the peoples of the countries they have passed through. As a whole they make up a large minority group in Thailand, and often face similar obstacles living and working in Thai society because of their minority and political status. Daughters Rising is intensely committed to working within a specific Karen Hill Tribe community outside of Chaing Mai, though we have also contact with the Akha and Hmong Hill Tribes, and are proud to bring the incredible traditional craftwork of all of them to our RISE UP shop!
Karen Hill Tribe
Karen Hill Tribe Infinity Scarf
Made by combining meticulously hand-woven Karen Hill Tribe fabric and silk chiffon, these scarves brighten up any outfit. Effortlessly lightweight, they are perfect for both Spring and Fall!
Each woven section of Karen Hill Tribe textile is made with the fabric traditionally used to make Karen women’s skirts. The weaving is done by hand with a traditional back-loom, and one skirt-sized piece takes approximately 1 month for a woman to weave. The weave is so beautiful and painstakingly tight, that it is hard to believe they are made by hand!
Each scarf is made in a two-yard loop, able to be worn long or wrapped twice!
Karen Hill Tribe Clutch
A bold accessory for casual and formal outings alike, this clutch is made with meticulously hand-woven Karen Hill Tribe fabric. Featuring a handmade neon yellow tassel zip closure, neon orange piping and a secret hot pink lining, it is fearlessly colorful!
Showcasing the incredible weaving skills of the Karen Hill Tribe, this piece is made with the fabric traditionally used to make Karen women’s skirts. The weaving is done by hand with a traditional back-loom, and one skirt-sized piece takes approximately 1 month for a woman to weave. The weave is so beautiful and painstakingly tight, that it is hard to believe they are made by hand!
There are many sub-groups of the Karen people, but are more simply identified as either ‘Red’ or ‘White’ Karen. The Padung Karen, most famously known for their practice of women wearing ‘elongating’ brass neck rings, are part of the Red Karen group, and escaped from the Kaya State in Burma to seek political refuge in Thailand. The Karen who remain in Burma are still fighting for their independence.
An integral part of Karen culture is the art of weaving. This practice unites women of the community who continue to make clothing and shoulder bags by the traditional process of hand weaving sitting on the ground using a strap loom. The intricate weaving patterns are handed down from generation to generation.
Hmong Hill Tribe purse
This one-of-a-kind colorful gem of a purse is made from a re-purposed vintage Hmong Hill Tribe hat! Featuring brightly colored hand-embroidered patterns and fun tassels, it is a fantastic accessory to brighten up any outfit! Tiny brass bells embedded in each pompom give this purse a subtle ‘jingling’ kick.
Comes fully lined with cotton fabric and interior pocket, with a simple leather strap.
Following the end of the “Secret War” in Laos, there was a mass exodus among Hmong Hill Tribe people who sought refuge and political asylum in Northern Thailand. Initially they were put into refugee camps (often in squalid conditions), and over the past 20 years have struggled to build new lives in Thailand under perpetual threat of forced repatriation to Laos. Like the Karen, there are many different sub-groups, but the largest two are referred to as ‘Green’ and ‘White’ Hmong.
Paj ntaub, or “flower cloth,” refers to textile arts traditionally practiced by Hmong people, whose distinctive embroidery consists of bold geometric designs often in bright, contrasting colors.Paj ndau, or “Story cloths,” range in size up to several square feet and use figures to illustrate narratives from Hmong history and folklore. Traditionally, paj ndau were applied to skirts worn for courtship during New Year festivals, as well as baby-carriers, and mens’ collars. Today, the practice of embroidery continues to be passed down through generations of Hmong people and paj ndau remain important markers of Hmong ethnicity.
Akha Hill Tribe Pillowcases (set of 2)
These stunning hand-embroidered pillowcases are made by the Akha Hill Tribe living in Northern Thailand. Each pillowcase is made with a process of both embroidering and hand-sewed patchwork, creating striking patterns that make each pillow the perfect punch of color to spice up your space!
Each case features a black back panel, zip closure, and fits a standard 12″x 12″- 15″x 15″ pillow insert (not included). Sold in a sets of matching 2. Please note: Due to their handmade nature, please allow for slight variation from stock photo and from each other.
$40 for a set of 2 Button
Similar to the Karen, many of the Akha Hill Tribe came to Thailand to escape persecution in Burma. Each Akha man is able to recite some 60 generations of the male linage of their family back to the “beginning,” and their migration routes have been similarly remembered. Like the other Hill Tribes they have a rich history of traditional embroidery and weaving, and are known for their distinctive headdresses laden with silver bells.
Within Thailand’s Hill Tribes, the financial empowerment of mothers directly relates to their daughter’s risk of being trafficked.
CULTURES AT RISK
Today, the status of these rich Hill Tribe cultures in Thailand risks being obliterated by several environmental factors. While cities offer the promise of jobs for youth, many leave their native villages and way of life only to risk being exploited by the sex industry and drug trade. As many Hill Tribes make up the lower economic strata of Thai society, they are often discriminated against and many times not granted full rights of citizenship by the Thai government. The influence of Christian Missionaries has also created unforeseen problems in the Hill Tribe communities. Christian children’s homes offer hope to parents struggling to raise children in the face of extreme poverty, however when such homes take in Hill Tribe children they subsequently separate them from their families, culture, language and traditional beliefs.
PREVENTING TRAFFICKING THROUGH TRADITIONAL CRAFT
By purchasing products made by Thai Hill Tribes you are not only financially empowering women artisans, but also helping support cultural preservation and economic development in their communities. Within Thailand’s Hill Tribes, the financial empowerment of mothers directly relates to their daughter’s risk of being trafficked. Education is the most powerful tool against trafficking, and when mothers have viable employment they are able to keep their daughters in school. Therefore each purchase directly fights to prevent sex trafficking!