The Karens are for the most part Buddhists (theraveda), but animism is still very present. Almost all practice ancestor worship; the offerings are never lacking in the houses to the spirits; the soul of animals, plants, rivers, mountains, etc., are respected and celebrated.
For the Karens, like the Hmong tribe, we have many souls. Unhappiness or disease occurs when some souls depart, and when all souls leave the body, it is death.
About a quarter of the Karen population is Christian , but animism also integrates with this belief to form a new religion imbued with mysticism.
The Karens are remarkable farmers and foresters.
The traditional houses are built on stilts, entirely in wood, bamboo, rattan, leaves.
Nowadays they are gradually giving way to cement, sheet metal and plastic.
The Karens are very recognizable by their traditional clothes: a kind of loose tunic for the top and a loincloth sewn in a tube for the bottom. The white dress is reserved for girls before their marriage.
The women make this garment themselves on their looms. Every woman has one and weaving is a very important activity in the community. This maintains social ties and cultural identity.
The Karens are renowned craftsmen, they work with rattan, bamboo, weaving, but also, in a village in northern Thailand, they are recognized and excellent in the traditional art of ethnic silver jewelry. of the golden triangle. Discover the manufacturing steps of these jewels unique in the world:
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