The Kayah Ethnic Group in Myanmar

Kayah people are also known as Red Karen or Karen, settled in isolated mountainous area of Kayah State. Because most of the ethnic minorities in Burma are traditionally practicing animism or spiritualism, the Kayah should also be the subject of Christian missionaries during British colonial domination. The name “red Karen” derived from the main color in the traditional costumes of the Kayah and has some similarities with the costumes of the ethnic Kayin (Karen).

Kayah women weaving
Kayah women weaving.

Today, the Kayah occupies a very small part of the population structure of Myanmar – less than 1%. The majority of the Kayah live by farming. In addition, a large number of Kayah people living in Mae Hong Son province of Thailand.