Deep in the remote hills of the Chin State, tribes of tattooed women inhabit villages. I started on the six-hour journey from Bagan to find them.

Visiting this far-flung corner of Myanmar is like traveling back in time, but it’s very apparent that society is changing rapidly. As Chin State is becoming more connected to the rest of Myanmar, local tradition is dying.

The Chin people are known for their animist ways of life. Though the communities still incorporate animist traditions, most have converted to Christianity and Buddhism in recent times.

But the most peculiar aspect of The Chin is that no women under forty possess the facial tattoos they’ve become known for. In fact, most are over 70 years old. The government had banned the practice in the 1970s and now it isn’t performed. My mission was to document the last of the remaining tribeswomen with these magnificent designs drawn on their faces.

11 mins reading time
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