Year published :2006

Pages :127 pp.

Size : 14.5x21 cm.

ISBN: 9789749575932

Pa-O, The: Rebels and Refugees

by Russ Christensen and Sann Kyaw

11 color photographs, 1 b/w illustration

The Pa-O are one of Burma’s many ethnic minorities, considered to be one of the four main subgroups of the Karen. They live primarily in southwestern Shan State, where they have maintained their own language and culture for centuries. They were engaged in a forty-year insurgency against the government of Burma, which ended with a cease-fire in 1994. During the last two decades of the insurgency, the nationalist Pa-O and the Communist Pa-O spent as much time fighting each other as they did the Burmese army.

This is the first book on the Pa-O in English. Drawing upon historical accounts, contemporary writing, and personal interviews, the authors present the mythological and historical background of the Pa-O in Burma and Thailand. They recount the recent political history and focus on the experiences and difficulties of one village community that was forced to relocate ten times between 1978 and 1996. Interviews with several recently arrived Pa-O provide first-hand evidence of the difficult conditions under which the Pa-O live both in Burma and Thailand.

About the Author

Russ Christensen has spent over four years with the Pa-O in the Mae Hong Son area of northern Thailand. He became interested in the people of Southeast Asia while serving as a U.S. army officer with the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division in Vietnam.

Sann Kyaw, an ethnic Pa-O, completed two years at University of Mandalay, before the pro-democracy uprising in 1988 when the universities were closed. He joined the Pa-O National Organization (PNO) military headquarters and served as a signal officer.