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Akha Human Rights - Akha University


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Akha Funerals

Akha funerals are extensive events. The body is wrapped in a blanket and waits for either a coffin from the forest or for one bought from town. The coffins made from the forest are works of art. A Peeh Mah resides over the funeral, recites the now famous Akha poetry recited at funerals, laying out the way for the dead to walk back to Meo Land. But the poetry is more than that, it is a history and good sense of a people.

Relatives are called from all over, and one or more water buffalos are killed along with pigs and maybe a goat or two. At really fancy funerals a horse is decorated and let run wild, captured by anyone but an Akha. Relatives may come from as far away as Burma or China.
Hauling a coffin from the forest.
A finished coffin, a complete work of art.
Preparing to kill the buffalo for feeding all the guests.
The Peeh Mah kills the buffalo with one careful thrust to the heart.
Making the board.
Marking Songs with a "kuuh durh dah pah singing board" which is used at 
funerals to demark songs as they are sung, to make sure all the songs are sung.
"Ah Cheeh Churh" is a song sung at funerals.
Kurh Durh Dah Pah
Denoting songs already sung on the Kurh Durh Dah Pah

Copyright 1991 The Akha Heritage Foundation