This morning, I flew from Mandalay to Heho, where I met up with my guide for Pindaya and Inle Lake, ChiChi. Right outside of the airport, this Buddha image was sitting on the hillside.
75% of the country’s vegetables are grown in the fertile soil of the Shan State. Some of their most plentiful products are tomatoes, eggplant, avocado, mangoes, oranges, apples, sugar cane, garlic….the list goes on and on…
Their costumes are to reflect the body of a dragon, including the headdress as the head of the dragon. The legend behind this is that there was a prince who went into the forest gathering food. A female dragon turned herself into a woman to make the acquaintance of the prince. They fell in love and stayed together for some time. But one day, the woman got very tired, and fell asleep, and when she was tired, she would turn back into a dragon. The prince came back before she woke up and saw that she was a dragon, and left her, never to return (pretty sad story, actually…I may not have gotten it totally accurate). While the older women still wear the native costumes, the younger people only do so for special occasions, so I was very lucky to get to see all of them in costume.
ChiChi asked them what was going on, and whether or not it might be a full moon celebration. But it ended up being even more than she expected. It was some kind of tribe event where they were giving out scholarship awards and celebrating the educational achievements of their children. The entire hillside was packed with Pa-O tribe members there for the event!
Location:Shan State, Myanmar