Pa-O Villagers of Tha Pye Gone

We are proud to offer some of the first coffees available from Myanmar, a country emerging from isolation in many ways. We’ve found that a key to understanding the country lies in regional and ethnic diversity.

We have partnered with the village of Tha Pye Gone and the Pa-O villagers which inhabit it. The Pa-O people are just one of the nine ethnic groups of the Shan State, where we source our coffee.

Like many other tribes in Myanmar, the Pa-O have their own language and traditions. Legend has it that the Pa-O are descended from a female dragon and an alchemist named Zawgyi. Accounts vary, but one version explains that, disguised as a human, the dragon fell in love with Zawgyi, but he left her when he discovered she was actually a dragon. The eggs she left behind when she flew back to her dragon kingdom hatched the Pa-O people.

Today the Pa-O people wear colorful turbans. Men drape the tail of their turban to one side and women shape theirs to resemble the head of the female dragon.

The Pa-O people grow the staple thanapet crop and much of the region’s root vegetables including garlic, peanuts, and various types of beans. You can learn more about the coffee growers of Tha Pye Gone and their amazing coffee here.

Further reading on the Pa-O:

http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=971
http://myaltruistictravels.com/2016/06/visiting-pao-tribes-shan-state-myanmar/