Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Village of LAWA

The Lawa have permanent establishments in such areas as Baw Luang, and locations which are closer to the Thai settlements. The more remote areas of plateau settlements may be changed every 10 to 15 years, as the lands around these villages are depleted. Generally, the Lawa depend on amount of wet rice lands that they have been able to acquire, as a deciding factor for permanence of their village. Substantial houses, like those of the Thai people around them, are seen in the more permanent villages. In fact, the entire village appears to be Thai settlement, with houses build in orderly rows, and narrow lanes between them. There are fences and enclosures around each home with small gardens and some fruit trees. These houses are made on sturdy piles, wooden floors and walls, and may have tile roofs.

The Lawa in more remote areas of plateau and elsewhere, also build houses upon piles, but use bamboo slat walls and thatch grass or leaf roofing. These homes are altogether poorly made, and compare with the relatively good houses that the Htin build. However, the villages are disorderly and there is poor sanitation. The locations are usually flat ridge, on elevations over 3000 feet. The Lawa of the plateau at Baw Luang are on an elevation of 3700 feet. Some of the Lawa villages may have some 15 houses, whereas several of them number over 100 houses in the permanent settlements. Baw Luang is the largest village, eith 230 houses, and has the new Chiangmai-Mae Sariang highway passing nearby

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