Profile Source: Anonymous
Introduction / History
The Northern Pwo Karen live in northern Thailand, mostly in the mountains, but some on the plains, in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Lamphun provinces. They are mostly rural farmers. Usually they grow rice, and may also raise livestock or grow other crops such as chilies, peanuts or vegetables. Some own their own fields and some work as hired laborers. Those living in cities are laborers or professionals.
Along with other Karen groups, the Northern Pwo Karen are known for their colorful weaving of shirts, skirts, and bags. In some places, the women wear Karen skirts or shirts in their everyday lives; in other places, they reserve the traditional clothing for special days.
What are Their Beliefs?
Most Northern Pwo Karen follow a mixture of Buddhism and traditional Karen religion (animism). There are also some Christians. Of the three provinces, Lamphun has the fewest Christians, but there is ongoing evangelism and a small church there. Christians are sometimes persecuted by their neighbors, especially if they are the first Christians in the village.