DER Documentary

The Akha Way

by Sharon Hainsfurther & Mary Flannery
Yellow Cat Productions
color, 25 minutes, 1999

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For over a thousand years, the Akha people have inhabited the hills of Asia — mainly Southern China, Burma and Northern Thailand. The Akha Way or Akhazaunh, is the code by which they live. This documentary describes their origins and their culture. It contains extraordinary footage of a shaman healing ceremony; a funeral, with the ritual sacrifice of a water buffalo; the reading of a pig's liver after a new house is built, and more. Today the Akha Way is fast disappearing. Forced migration, Christianity, money and drugs are eroding the cultural heritage of the Akha tribe.

"The Akha Way presents a powerful political and ecological perspective on indigenous people in develping nations. The images of the Akha and their environment are wonderful. A great program for learning about cultural and environmental issues." — Manuel Lizarralde Professor of Anthropology and Botany, Connecticut College

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Environmental Film Festival, Smithsonian, Washington DC, 2000
Honorable Mention, Rochester International Film Festival, 2000
United Nations Association Film Festival, 1999
Vermont International Film Festival, 1999

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts