The last tattooed women of Myanmar

A British photographer has pictured the indigenous people of Myanmar, where he was overwhelmed by the warmth and kindness of those he met.

Rather than capturing soldiers and conflicts, Dan O’Donnell goes in search of nomadic tribes and remote villages.

He pictured the last surviving women of Myanmar’s Chin tribe to have their faces heavily tattooed in a bid to ward off abduction.

He said: ‘Myanmar may be the most hospitable country I’ve visited yet. If it wasn’t for the media coverage, I may have never known about all the terrible things happening there.’

He explained: ‘Chin legend says that many years ago a Burmese king visited the area and kidnapped the women, believing them to be the most beautiful in Myanmar.

‘To prevent any future kidnappings, the Chin women began to tattoo their faces using sharp thorns from the local vegetation and using leaves and soot for the colour and disinfectant.

‘There are six different Chin tribes, and each tribe has a specific design which tend to cover the entire face, and sometimes reach down to the neck.

‘The Burmese government banned this old tradition in the 1960s, so the women that I had the privilege of photographing will be the last faces of Chin history to bear this tradition.’

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