Thursday, February 5, 2009

Virtual Hilltribe Museum

The Virtual Hilltribe Museum is a project of the Mirror Art Group of Chiang Rai, Thailand to document the rapidly changing cultures of hilltribe people in northern Thailand. While countless volumes have been compiled about the touristically popular hilltribe cultures, almost all of these works have been written by Thais or Westerners and, therefore, carry the bias and mistakes of an outsider. The Virtual Hilltribe Museum is the work of the tribal people themselves.

While conventional wisdom holds that technology destroys traditional culture, we believe that empowerment of minority cultures via media and technology is essential for their survival. The Virtual Hilltribe Museum is a forum to stimulate interest and educate all people interested in learning about hilltribe cultures - Thais, Asians, Westerners, and hilltribe alike. As designers of the website - from photographs to content to HTML layout - the members of the team have accepted responsibility to represent truth and priority as seen from the point of view of a tribal person. While most of the English parts of the website have been translated, those who can read the Thai version of the website are reading the voice of the tribal people themselves.

The Virtual Hilltribe Museum is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.