Mlabri – Thailand aboriginal people

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They are called “Pi Tong Luang” or The Spirit of the yellow leaves (they prefer people of the yellow leaves) by the Thai. They used to live deep in the jungles of Thailand and were rarely seen. There are only about 300 to 400 of them. They came out of the jungle a mere 30 years ago, and very few people had even heard about them before that.

They were nomad, living in small groups up to 10-15 individuals. They used to be hunters and gatherers, the only like group in Asia. They are probably related to the Mon-Khmer people and may be the only aboriginal people of Thailand. They are animist.

We visited two Mlabri villages, one near Nan and the other one near Prae. Thanks to the help of a missionary (Gene Long) they now live together in a village and have a regular business making hammocks. They are learning how to integrate and live in today’s Thai society.


Amboseli Park, Kenya