Dr. Otome Klein Hutheesing's collection includes photographs of a Lisu village in northern Thailand, Doi Laan, Mae Suay district, Chiang Rai Province; fieldnotes regarding her research in Doi Laan and other ethnic villages in the 1980s; personal correspondence with a Dutch friend and childhood diaries from the 1940s.
She was born Machteld Otome Louisa Klein on the 19th August 1930 in Appledorn, the Netherlands but was raised and grown in Sumatra, Indonesia where her parents were planters growing rubber and coconuts. During the WWII she was sent back to the Netherlands for her education. She graduated for her B.A., (1953) M.A. (1956) and Ph.D. (1963) in Sociology at Leiden University.
In 1969 she was married to an Indian man, Harsha Hutheesing and later moved to New York, USA for her teaching career. In 1975 she moved to Penang and worked at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and at this place where she met her partner Dr. Michael Vickery who passed away on the 29th June 2017.
In 1981 she resigned from USM and started her academic research trip in northern Thailand. The journey in the north was accompanied by her Dutch anthropologist friend who studied the Akha, Leo Alting von Geusau. They went up to a Lisu village led by her Akha woman friend, Asue Hobday where she was introduced to a Lisu family and since then she conducted her research about the Lisu in this village, Doi Laan, Chiang Rai province.
In 1990 her study about the Lisu was published “Emerging Sexual Inequality among the Lisu of Northern Thailand: The Waning of Dog and Elephant Repute” was the title of her book. And in 2017 her book was translated into Thai language by a Thai researcher, Thawit Jatuworapruk.