The Akha People of Northern Thailand

One does not have the ability to throw away our customs anymore than a buffalo has the ability to have its footprints one place and its body someplace else.

  • Akha Proverb

When we have culture, we have a life.

  • Akah Proverb

About 70.000 Akha People inhabit the mountains of Northern Thailand.

The origins of the the Akah People can be found in Tibet and Myanmar. The Hani People that live in China’s Yunnan province are close relatives. Many Akha People migrated to Thailand over the past century to escape their persecution in Myanmar.

Akha People are stateless.

The Akha People celebrate a colorful lifestyle and are considered physically strong. They live in isolated mountain communities and value a deep relationship with their homeland. Every day, they worship their dead ancestors. It’s not unusual that stories about ancestors are being told that date back many generations.

Akha People live a spiritual way of life that values continuity highly. Morals and believes – for example,when and where rice or vegetables should be planted – have been passed from generation to generation.

Akha People like to sing songs. They sing when they go working to their farms. They sing while they are working.

The Akha People fight for the continuity of their culture.

Coffee Beans made by the Akha People

Did you know that the Akha People also grow and process award winning organic coffee beans? They cultivate Cutai and Typica Arabica coffee beans that are well known for their citrus notes and unique acidity.

In 2010, members of the Akha community established the ‘Akha Ama Cafe’ in Chiang Mai to promote their specialty coffee. Only two years later, a second ‘Akah Ama Cafe’ had been added to the community’s coffee network.