The hills are alive with the… sight of tribe jewels!
The hill tribes of Thailand are comprised of a variety of ethnic groups that inhabit the high mountainous regions of northern and western Thailand. Although the high dwelling “mountain people/folk” (which is the literal translation from Thai to English) have been roaming the mountainsides for decades, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the term appeared in official Thai documents.
Due to their remote location and distance from other local societies, hill tribes are often considered outsiders. Despite some mistreatment, the people of the various tribes have each persevered and maintained their own distinct language and colorful culture. There are 7 main hill tribe groups; the Akha, the Lau, the Mien or Yao, the Karen, the Hmong, the Lisu, and the Palang. As mentioned, each tribe has unique characteristics but one commonality amongst all seven is their passion for creation, especially when it comes to jewelry.
Stay golden with Hill Tribe silver
The area that the hill tribes call home is known as the Golden Triangle; they are located where Thailand, Laos, and Burma (Myanmar) all meet. This name suits the region perfectly; their vibrant culture and incredible pieces are pure body gold. Okay, so we know that Thai hill tribe jewels are stunners but we want to know how they do it. Lucky for us, the secret is out on [some] of their methods. One of their most recognizable techniques is the twisting of silver threads, as seen in the two cuff bracelets below.
Our Stamp of Approval
Another technique that many of the hill tribes use to create their traditional jewels is metal stamping. Interestingly, the technique has been used by a number of indigenous groups across the world, including Native Americans. With that said, metal stamping is perhaps one of the most common jewelry making methods used by hill tribes.
Each unique design is created by hammering the silver with metal pieces to create an imprint or stamps. Every single piece of stamped hill tribe jewelry you see is handmade by a talented local artisan, thus they are all one-of-a-kind. Who doesn’t love one-of-a-kind treasures? We sure do!
Tradition: the heart of the hill tribes
Like many other indigenous tribes throughout the world, tradition is essentially the backbone of the culture. It is through tradition that a culture is given the heartbeat it needs to survive.
Over the years, the hill tribes have garnered mainstream attention from tourists. This is, in part, due to their authentic and fascinating way of life, as well as the quality of their handmade products. The Thai hills tribes have stayed in touch with their roots in spite of urbanization and technology that has plagued our world.
The people of the hill tribes put their hearts into all that they create. We honor their heritage by nurturing and supporting their genuine way of life.