Name: 80 x 64, Acrylic on canvas, XXXXXXX, 2000
Stephen met this fantastic Akha Lady up near the notorious opium Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. She was selling woven bracelets. Her headdress is made of fabric, pounded silver, antique coins, and beads, and is part of her personal wealth with a value of over $1000. The Akha are an ethnic group which originated in China and Tibet. Most of the remaining Akha people are now distributed in small villages among the mountains of China, in Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and northern Thailand, where they are one of the six main hill tribes. Many elders claim that children are often lured away from their families in coerced conversions. They claim that this leads to an inevitable erosion of Akha culture and language.