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Palaung Tribe - Shan State

One of the oldest hill tribes, the Palaung live in the northern parts of Shan State. Their language, which consists of several dialects, is related to the Mon language.

Palaung women stand out among the other hill tribes for their colorful traditional dress. Their garments include velvet jackets of green, blue, or purple and longyi fastened with belts. Black caps, long, brightly colored hoods, and cloth leggings complete the outfit. Some women wear a different kind of headdress made up of colorful bands of cotton.

The Palaung are famous for the tea they grow and cure to sell, particularly the pickled tea, or lepet, popular all across Myanmar. Palaung tea is grown on plantations at an altitude of about 6,000 feet (1,829 m). Young tea leaves are picked, then steamed, rolled, and dried in the sun to produce green tea. In the pickling process, baskets of green tea leaves are placed in pits, covered, and allowed to ferment. This process can last from a month to a year - the longer the fermentation period, the better the tea.


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