The Karenni Region

20.02.2020 | LAB 1

The Karenni Region

Karenniregion in Myanmar


The Karenni region in Myanmar consists of Kayah State as well as parts of southern Shan state, northern Karen State and Naypyitaw Union Territory. Indigenous traditions tell of the ancient Kamyam people who descended into the area of today’s Myanmar from the north around the 8th century BC. The Kayan and the Kayaw people are descendants of those Kamyam. They speak related languages and share many aspects of culture and tradition. War raged in their territories from 1948 to 2012 and much cultural knowledge was lost.

Die Karenniregion liegt im Osten von Myanmar, an der Grenze zu Thailand.

Foto: Olivia Musu (Kayaw Literatur und Kultur Zentralkomitee)

The exhibition, developed in the framework of the LindenLAB, presents traditional textiles, ornaments, musical instruments and objects of everyday use, many of which are today gradually falling out of use. It was curated by Olivia Musu and Patricio Doei of the Kayaw Literature and Culture Central Committee, and by Khun Vincentio Besign and Khun Myo Aung of the Kayan Literature and Culture Central Committee. Among the presented objects some are from the Linden-Museum’s collections whereas others were newly commissioned by the curators. The Kayan Literature and Culture Central Committee used this opportunity to create video documentations of ancient techniques that might soon be lost as society changes. The Kayaw Literature and Culture Central Committee organized a workshop where expert artisans demonstrated and explained traditional techniques to Kayaw youth. The newly made objects were then collected by the committees for presentation in locally travelling exhibitions and will later find a home in new cultural centers that are currently being built. The two committees then made a selection from the collected objects for presentation in the Linden-Museum.

About the author

Dr. Georg Noack
Senior Curator South and Southeast Asia
Linden-Museum Stuttgart