Portrait, Akha (Lao Sung) Hill Tribe, Northern Laos
This photo was taken in the north of Laos , in a small Akha village.
The Akha are hill tribe of subsistence farmers known for their artistry. The ethnic group may have originated in Mongolia around 1500 years ago. Most of the remaining Akha people are now distributed in small villages among the mountains of China, Laos (where they are considered Lao Sung), Myanmar (Burma), and northern Thailand.
Lao Sung (or more commonly Lao Soung) is an official Laos PDR designation for highland dwelling peoples in Laos (the others being the Lao Loum and the Lao Theung). The ones in Laos, the actual Lao Soung, make up 9% of the Laotian population. The Lao Soung aren't actually one single ethnic group but are made up of (H)Mong (the main group), Yao, Akha, Phu Noi and other people who live in the Laotian mountaintops. All these groups are related. Their main religions are animism, Buddhism, and Chinese folk religions.