The Palong

DavidFL

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February 92 & 3 weddings on one day in day Pha Daeng, east of Chiang Dao.

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the reason for the weddings - a third of the men had been arrested to trespassing in the forest & were in jail.
It was unclear how long they would be in jail for.
So there was an urgent need for more young men in the village to help farming & looking after families.
3 young men (boys of 16+) were brought in from west of Fang - Nor Lae, to marry into the village.
I was fortunate enough to get invited to the triple weddings.
Thank you to the Palong of Pha Daeng.
This was another unique experience.

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DavidFL

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But who are the Palong?

The Palong are a tribe who came from Burma only in the early 1980s, fleeing the conflict between Khun Sa's army & the Burmese army.
In the conflict several villages - a whole valley - were supposedly completely massacred for refusing to get involved & be porters for one of the sides.

Today there are only a few Palong villages in North Thailand, with most of them west of Fang.

Nor Lae is the biggest

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Nor Lae 1994

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Nor Lae 2001

followed by Huay Mak Liam; Suan Cha is another near Fang, then east of Chiang Dao there are maybe 3 villages.

The Chiang Dao villages have had a particularly hard time, suffering arrest & persecution from government authorities trying to move them out & take their land in the 1990s.
Their area is relative stable now & is a popular trekking / day trip destination from Chiang Mai.
I was fortunate enough to witness a triple wedding there in Feb 1992.

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Some notes Ive turned up
There are 8 Dara-ang (Palong) villages in Chiang Mai Province – No Lae, Huay Cha-nu, Huay Mak Liam villages in Fang; Mae Chon, Pang Daeng Nai, Pang Daeng Nok and Huay Pong in Chiang Dao; and Huay Sai Khaw in Mae Ai. The total Dara-ang ethnic population in Thailand is approximately 4,500-5,000.
On 26 March 1998, around 100 armed officials of the Royal Thai Forestry Department together with the police and other employees of the Department entered Pang Daeng village, a predominantly hilltribe community in Chiang Mai Province in Northern Thailand, and arrested all the male villagers, including 50 adults and 6 children. This mass arrest was conducted without warrants.
You can read more about the troubles at Pha Daeng here


From the Chiang Mail archives

Hill tribes people arrested on forest encroachment charges
Claims of ethnic prejudice by Forestry Department
Saksit Meesubkwang

On July 24, the secretary of the Northern Farmers and Ethnic Groups Network of Thailand, Wiwat Tamee, led 100 villagers from Ban Pang Daeng to protest against Forestry Department officials and police after 48 hill tribe villagers were charged with encroachment on national conserved forest.

The protesters distributed leaflets to passers-by in front of the Chiang Mai Provincial Court, where they were held in custody.

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Wiwat said that more than 100 forestry officials and Chiang Dao police encircled the village of Ban Pang Daeng, in tambon Chiang Dao in the early morning of July 23 and arrested the villagers as they were preparing their morning meals. They were locked up in the cells at the Chiang Dao police station until they appeared in Chiang Mai court the next day.

Of the 48 villagers charged with encroaching on forest land, 25 are Lahu, 19 are Palong Karen, three are local people and one is Lisu. Some of them were couples, and it is claimed children and disabled persons were among those carried away and charged.

Wiwat said that the action of the officials and police in encircling the village was heavy-handed and unnecessary. He said the villagers had been living in the national conserved forest for a long time and they had never been harassed by officials before. “That causes them to feel the officials have a bias against them, and they are treating the arrests as unfair,” he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives had previously planned to apply a pilot project for those people living in the forest village, but it didn’t eventuate, Wiwat claimed.



I hope some of you enjoyed a bit of history. Sometimes it makes the ride more interesting.

Some more interesting reading in here too
 
Last edited:

Eoin Christie

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Jul 16, 2019
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Thank you, David. I really enjoy learning more about the journey of the people of the North.
The photo’s are great, and speak more than 1,000 words each.
 

DavidFL

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2001 at Nor Lae

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Marc Dumur who was managing the resort at Doi Ang Khang got a young guides project going for the kids to practice English & talk to tourists

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On the Nor Lae road the same day
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