Cross-Border Mobility and Social Networks: Akha Caravan Traders

  • Mika Toyota


The development of new infrastructure linking the northern margins of Southeast Asia with the southern perimeter of China is retracing historical trade routes that once connected the indigenous peoples of the region. This chapter is an attempt to provide some empirical evidence of Akha1 cross-border trading activities between southwest China, Myanmar,2 and Thailand. Trade and commerce activities are found to be important components of Akha society and they especially illuminate the dynamics of Akha mobility and social networks. Trade activities also shed light on the way in which the Akha interact with other ethnic groups and the way in which their ethnic identities are manipulated in such a context.


Ethnic Identity Trade Partner Trading Activity Trade Network Commerce Activity 
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© Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore 2000

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  • Mika Toyota

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