The Golden Traingle

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  “There is in the (Golden Triangle) region a collection of races diverse in feature, language and customs such as cannot, perhaps, be paralleled in any other part of the world.”
- Sir George Scott (1899)
The words “Golden Triangle” conjure images of remote mountain villages living beyond time’s reach, caravans migrating from the highlands of Tibet and China, trade routes from India and Mongolia, and passages along the great rivers of SE Asia. Here, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas where Laos, Myanmar, China, and Thailand once knew no boundaries, a treasure of tribal peoples has flourished, their number and variety so dazzling and bewildering as to be beyond belief.
Map of Map of The Golden Triangle

The rugged, often impenetrable peaks and valleys that make up the Golden Triangle have through time served to isolate the more than 130 different clans and subclans, notably the Akha, Hmong, Lahu, Lisu, Karen, and Yao peoples. In so doing the natural environment has helped to preserve their culture, language, dress, and features to an astonishing degree. Consequently this region encompasses an historical, geographical, and ideological diversity that arguably cannot be seen in any other part of the world.

The indigenous peoples have fashioned elaborate rituals from the sky and wind, the forests, rivers and mountains that surround them. The daily rhythm of their lives is shaped by celestial cycles of sun and moon and seasons. Their arts - music and myths, crafts and adornments, stories and rituals - echo the inseparable connection of people with their universe, while safeguarding the continuum that links them to their first ancestors. Each one of these cultures represents an extraordinary, unique world.

Music, attended by ritual and formality, plays a pivotal role in these animistic societies. The keepers of the great bardic tradition in oral societies - the master musicians, shamans, priests, and elders – have inspired generations with age-old wisdom, all the while preserving memory and identity. Embedded in the ancient melodies and rhythms lie beliefs that connect the peoples of the Golden Triangle with their earliest ancestors and guide them through the passages of their lives.

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