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  Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
Ethnic Groups Research Database
Sorted by date | title


Subject Hmong, politics, society, migration, lowland, Phayao
Author Somjit Satsanyawut
Title Problems of Hmong’s relocation onto the lowland: A case study of the Hmong in Pong District, Phayao Province
Document Type Thesis Original Language of Text Thai
Ethnic Identity Hmong, Language and Linguistic Affiliations Hmong-Mien
Location of
SirindhornAnthropology Center Total Pages 191 Year 1994
Source Faculty of Graduate Studies, Chiang Mai University

The thesis investigated advantages and disadvantages of the relocation of the Hmong to the lowland areas at Khun Kamlang Village, Tambon Khun Khuan, Pong District, Phayao Province. The investigation also focused on whether the relocation to the designated areas initiated by the state sector was able to stop the migration and swidden practices of the ethnic group, and whether the migrants were satisfied with the new location and could be assimilated with local lowlanders. The relocation started in 1983 and the data were collected from 910 Hmong with 173 sets of questionnaire. It was found that the land relocation project could not stop the ethnic group from relocating for cultivating highland crops. Furthermore, the cost of living was higher at the new location and the ethnic group was unable to assimilate with lowlanders due to cultural differences (Abstract).
A major reason for relocating the ethnic group to the lowland was due to political problems between the Thai government and the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT). In 1968, the CPT was headquartered at the Phaji Mountain, a transitional area between Pong and Chiang Muan Districts in Phayao Province and Tha Wang Pha, Ban Luang and Muang Districts in Nan Province. The area was forested and mountainous with a height of 380 to 1,388 meters above mean sea level. The area is the origin of several important tributaries in the north. On the right bank of the Sao River is the location of several villages in Doi Pha Wua and Doi Pha Chang mountain ranges. This area was called 24/1 Work Zone, covering Chiang Kham, Pong and Chiang Muan Districts in Phayao Province and Tha Wang Pha and Ban Luang Districts in Nan Province (p. 43). In the mountain ranges, the headquarters of the CPT was at Song Doi Nam Sao, with an army of 350. In 1971, the headquarters was called the 13 Zone and was renamed the 7 Work Zone in 1977. The work line was divided into 12 divisions, e.g., major army, supporter recruit work, communication, nursing, female army, or propaganda (pp. 44-45). CPT supporters were divided into two groups. The Doi Phaji Group contained 527 members residing in Tor Su, Ekaraj, Thong Daeng, and Thong Daeng Noi Villages. The Pha Chang Group consisted of 492 members residing in Luk Fai, Ruam Jai, Mae Yat Nua, and Mae Yat Tai Villages. From March 19 to November 4, 1982, the state army launched attacks on the stronghold of the CPT at Doi Phaji, defeated the CPT and arrested 1,019 supporters of the CPT in four villages of the Phaji Group and four villages of the Pha Chang Group (pp. 45-46). The supporters were re-educated and were allowed to go back to their villages. The villages in the Phaji Group were renamed Santisuk (Peace) 1-4 and those in the Pha Chang Group were renamed Chalong Krung 1-4 (p. 47).  Roads were constructed to connect the villages to the outside world. A survey on socio-economic conditions and land and water allocation was conducted. Two existing villages were under rigorous development and four new villages with five households each were established (pp. 47-48). On June 28, 1983, a development project for the security of Doi Phaji was implemented by relocating villagers in Chalong Krung Villages to Khun Kamlang Village, about 25 kilometers away. The Hmong in Santisuk Villages were relocated to a riverside area, about three kilometers away (pp. 49, 53-54). The Hmong at Khun Kamlang Village were already granted Thai citizenship according to regulations of the Interior Ministry (p. 56).

Text Analyst Phumchai Khachamit Date of Report Apr 04, 2013
TAG Hmong, politics, society, migration, lowland, Phayao, Translator Chalermchai Chaichomphu


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