The Thai Government is continuing its broadcasts in the local dialects of half a million northern hill tribesmen, as part of its battle against both opium growing and Communist subversion.
LV White Karen tribal village
SV Children outside village hut
GV & SV Old woman stacking wood
SV & CU Old woman (3 shots)
SV Small boy on stilts (3 shots)
SV & CU Children eating sugar cane (4 shots)
SV & CU Mother preparing food and children eating (4 shots)
SV & CU Young woman rolling cotton and wool (2 shots)
SV Girl weaving
SV Woman weaving with child in background (2 shots)
SV Women weaving
LV Spinning cotton (2 shots)
SV Mother and child walk through village.
Initials ESP/1746 ESP/1819
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Background: The Thai Government is continuing its broadcasts in the local dialects of half a million northern hill tribesmen, as part of its battle against both opium growing and Communist subversion.
Daily broadcasts from powerful 50-kilowatt Government radio transmitters in several northern provinces are aimed at audiences of six major tribes - Karens, Meos, Yaos, Musers, Lahus and Lisus.
An estimated 50,000 opium-growing Meos are spread over Tak and Chiang Mai provinces on the Burmese border. They have been so thoroughly infiltrated and subverted by Communists over the past five years that two divisions of the Thai army and thousands of armed police are currently engaged in suppression operations.
Another 100,000 Yaos, Lahus, Ekors and Lisus living next to the Meos are free from Communist influence, but they have yet to give up poppy cultivation which annually yields about 150 tons of opium.
The Karens - who are featured in this film - are not affected either by Communists or opium. But they are concentrated in several provinces hugging Burma, where fellow Karen rebels control border areas and feel kinship with them.
The tribe featured in this film live around 3,000 feet up a mountain and depend for a living on primitive farming, and hunting in the jungle. Originally, the tribe migrated from Tibet and slowly moved south. They're still itinerant - settling down in one place for only two or three years before moving on and cultivating new lands.
The village in which they live is known as "Ban Docden" and has a population of about 35 families (100 people), three elephants and some water buffaloes.
Their staple food is rice - they don't yet know how to grow fruit and vegetables.