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The Kayin hill tribe villages are mainly concentrated in the mountains and also along the Myanmar-Thai border in the Kayin State.The Kayin people like to settle in the foothills, living in bamboo houses raised on stilts, beneath which they keep their live domestic animals: pigs, chickens, and buffaloes.The Kayin practice monogamy and look down on pre-marital sex with strict social community laws against immorality. Two married women cannot live in the same house. In the past, in some villages, punishment for adultery was death.

There are 11 different Kayin ethnic groups:
1. Kayin (Karen)
2. Kayinpyu (Geba Karen)
3. Pa-Le-Chi, maybe Mobwa
4. Mon Kayin (Sarpyu)
5. Sgaw (Karen, S’gaw)
6. Ta-Lay-Pwa
7. Paku (Karen, Paku)
8. Bwe (Bwe Karen)
9. Monnepwa (Karen, Paku)
10. Monpwa
11. Shu (Pwo Kayin)


The village chief of the Kayin hill tribes has great power over his local community, and is regarded as the spiritual as well as the administrative leader.The Kayin costume for women is very attractive and distinctive. Unmarried girls wear loose white V-necked blouses, decorated with tear-shaped beans at the seams. Married Kayin women wear blouses and skirts in hard colors, predominantly red or blue, Men wear blue baggy trousers with red or blue shirts, a simplified version of the women's blouses. Black Karen men wear black shirts with a red cummerbund or head scarf.



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