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Putao, Burma


These slices of real life, served up raw, show the resilient faces and spirits of these hearty folks up in the remote state of Kachin, bordering China, where the majority are Christians not Buddhists.

Published on Mar 12, 2013

Orchids that act as natural medicines
Orchids found at the top of Burma are cure-alls. Local healers use them to combat stomach problems and malaria, and improve vitality. Common lore even says the perfume can lengthen your life.

A new generation

A young girl after mass in Putao. The far north of the country is inhabited mainly by farmers belonging to the Lisu and Rawang tribes, who were once animists but now practice Christianity.

Morning market

The rhythm of life is anchored around the market in Putao, and people from across Kachin state walk for up to four hours to buy, sell and trade their crops, and stock up on essentials.

A knowing look from northern Burma

Instead of arduous, week-long treks in the mountains hunting for orchids, residents of Putao can just go to the market for a variety of flowers, which they then use for medicine, or in their gardens.


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