Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Akha Way

Akha often refer to themselves as those who 'carry the Akha Way'. The have no word for 'religion', but the term 'Akha Way' covers it-and much more. It includes all their traditions and ceremonies. The Akha Way determines how they cultivate their fields and hunt animals, how they view and treat sickness, and the manner in which they relate to one anther and to outsiders. It is all embracing. Any who become Christians, or for any reason discontinue the observance of the Akha Way, expected to leave the village.

The Akha Way is delineated in their mythology, proverbs, and traditions. The manner in which they carry out the Way may vary from clan to clan and village to village, but the main theme is the same: each is a link in a great chain, a part of the Akha continuum, which must be maintained at all cost.

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