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Home > Main Library > Non-Burman and non-Buddhist groups > Ethnic groups in Burma (cultural, political) > Single Groups > Karen (cultural, historical, political) > Karen (cultural, historical, political)

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Karen (cultural, historical, political)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Museum of Karen History and Culture
Date of publication: June 2004
Description/subject: "Welcome to the Museum of Karen History and Culture dedicated to researching, preserving, and promoting the history and culture of the ethnic Karens of Burma. The Karens, now totalling over five million people, were one of, if not, the first inhabitants of what is now Burma. Throughout the centuries that followed they were constantly oppressed by the Burman rulers who took over the country. Now, the military government seeks to destroy the individual identity of the Karen people. History and language is being lost as the State Peace and Development Council bans all schools in Karen State from teaching their own language and history. The Karen History and Culture Preservation Society is a non-profit, non-political organisation, formed in 2001 to help preserve and promote the history and culture of a unique people. This electronic museum is only the beginning and is by no means complete, all people who can contribute are welcome (please see the KHCPS section for details) and any feedback you wish to give please do. We dedicate this museum to all of the Karen people who continue to suffer under insurmountable odds" SOME PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO ACCESS THE MUSEUM WITHOUT DIFFICULTY. OTHERS CANNOT SEE THE UPPER NAVIGATION BAR. PLEASE CONTACT darnott@iprolink.ch IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen History and Culture Preservation Society
Format/size: html, jpg etc.
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/karenmuseum/
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2005

Title: Drum Publications
Description/subject: "The Drum Publication Group was founded in May 1998. The goal of the Drum Publication Group is to promote literature in both Karen and Burmese languages with the overall objectives of developing education for Burmese people wherever they might reside. The Group wishes to establish contact with as many other groups and individuals as possible who are involved in literature and education, and to be involved in all aspects of literacy development and the ensuing work of printing suitable books and teaching aids. As well as translation and typesetting we would like to assist those NGOs involve in education work at all stages. Participation in planning sessions and workshops would be welcomed and would, we feel, increase our capacity to play a useful role in this regard. The Group will promote, through its own practice, transparency and accountability, in all dealings. The Group is not affiliated with any political organization and stands for racial and sexual equality. The Drum Group's focus is on: * Writing and printing educational books. * Producing teaching aids and extra-curricula materials. * Translation of texts, to and from, both Sgaw Karen and Burmese languages - especially those relevant to education. * Establishing a library and documentation centre to preserve valuable books and documents. * Assisting the printing of educational material in Pwo Karen, Shan, Mon and other ethnic languages. A catalogue of our publications is available on this web site. Publications are distributed at cost price, or less, to groups and individuals involved in formal or non-formal education or training. Those ordering large numbers of books as well as overseas institutes are requested to pay the full cost of the order plus postage costs... Downloadable books: * English - Sgaw Karen Student Dictionary (PDF version which can be used off line) * Days Not to be Forgotten : (Sgaw Karen), Karen veterans of WWII share their experiences * Echos from Karen Land: (Sgaw Karen) * Little Authors' Imaginative World: (Sgaw Karen) * * Lilly and Pa Saw Htee's Amazing Earth and the Universe Facts: (Sgaw Karen / English) * Lilly and Pa Saw Htee's Amazing Animal Facts: (Sgaw Karen / English) * Ethnic Folktakes of Burma : (Sgaw Karen) * Hta for Children : (Sgaw Karen) * A Holiday I Will Never Forget (a choose your our adventure story) : (Sgaw Karen) * Brain Sharpeners : math puzzles (Sgaw Karen) * Traditional Karen Dress : (Sgaw Karen) Drum's quarterly fun newsletter for kids! * * Drum Kids Newsletter, July 2006:(Sgaw Karen) * Drum Kids Newsletter, April 2006:(Sgaw Karen) * Drum Kids Newsletter, Jan. 2006:(Sgaw Karen) * Drum Kids Newsletter, Oct. 2005:(Sgaw Karen)
Language: English, Sgaw Karen, Burmese
Source/publisher: Drum Publication Group
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2006

Title: Friends of the Karen People
Description/subject: "Friends of the Karen People - Mission Statement * We provide scholarships to prospective students from Burma regardless of their ethnic origin. * We prepare students to able to integrate into the international education system. * We aim to upgrade the education system in the ethnic regions of Burma. * We help maintain the culture and literature of the different ethnic nationalities of Burma. * We publish materials about the struggle of the ethnic nationalities of Burma. Friends of the Karen People - Objective * To document the culture and daily life of the Karen People who are in refugee camps and who are internally displaced. * To inform the world about the plight of the ethnic nationalities. * To bring a new generation of leaders to Burma. * To help people to survive and bring peace to the region. Brief recent history of Burma The Burmese military dictatorship took over power on March 2, 1962 and has been introducing ethnic cleansing since. There are more than a hundred ethnic groups in Burma who are gradually becoming extinct. Ethnic nationalities of Burma are forbidden to study their languages and practice their religious beliefs. Their cultures are disappearing and they no longer know how to speak or write their own languages. Their land is being taken away from them. They become internally displaced. They are relocated to places where there is no way to make their living. They have to work as slaves for the military. They are used to clear land mines and carry military equipment as porters. They suffer all kinds of abuse and oppression. Husbands and sons are killed, wives and daughters are raped. Children and infants are burned alive. The ethnic nationalities have become internal colonies. They are oppressed by the military dictatorship of Burma and are trapped in the nest of a heartless monster. The Karen people and all the other ethnic nationalities have fought to defend themselves for over 50 years to survive ethnic cleansing."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Friends of the Karen People
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2005

Title: Karen Emergency Relief Fund
Description/subject: "The purpose of the Karen Emergency Relief Fund Inc. is to provide humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, medical and health supplies, and to provide educational and self-help projects for the Karen people. The Relief Fund recognizes that the Karens are an indigenous, ethnic minority group of about 11 million people who have lived in the mountainous region along the border of Burma and Thailand for many centuries. Due to the ongoing strife in Burma, it is estimated that there are more than 300,000 displaced Karens who have fled into the jungle and are living in huts and makeshift camps in the border area. Those who have escaped into Thailand have not been given official refugee status, consequently they receive no direct assistance from the United Nations or from the Red Cross. Alongside impoverished Karen organizations the Karen Emergency Relief Fund maintains an office in Mae Sot, Thailand. In 2000 K.E.R.F established a therapy program for the victims of rape and torture which is directed by a skilled and innovative psychotherapist. No other agency was addressing the consequences of these widespread and vicious crimes. The Karen Emergency Relief Fund Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit, tax deductible organization, and has no paid employees. All funds raised are distributed to the Karens or to organizations acting on their behalf. The Board of Directors of the Karen Emergency Relief Fund Inc. is comprised of physicians, clergypersons and business professionals from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The organization was created on July 20, 1997. "
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Emergency Relief Fund
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Kawthoolei (Karenland)
Description/subject: Some good material, but many links not working.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kawthoolei (Karenland)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Pwo and Sgaw Karen Fonts
Description/subject: A number of Pwo and Sgaw Karen fonts...Open in a new page and unzip the files (that's the only way I can access the files using Firefox) -- other browsers may work differently - Librarian)
Author/creator: KHCPS
Source/publisher: KHCPS
Format/size: .zip/469k
Date of entry/update: 05 March 2006

Title: The Hilltribes of Thailand Karen
Description/subject: Touristy site
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Working Group: "Socio-economics of Forest Use in the Tropics and Subtropics"
Description/subject: Various documents in German and/or English on the Karen and other groups in Thailand and Burma, including "Change and identity in Pwo Karen communities in Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, a 'Global Heritage' in Western Thailand".
Author/creator: Reiner Buergin
Language: Deutsch, German, English
Source/publisher: Institute for Ethnology, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Individual Documents

Title: Migration as a Challenge for Myanmar’s Socio-economic Development: Case Studies of Hpa-­an and Mrauk-­U townships in Myanmar
Date of publication: 04 September 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "Migration is the act or process of moving from one place to another with the intent of staying at the destination permanently or for a relatively long period of time (1992, Longman). It can also be assumed that people move from one place to another, usually their home place, to work or to settle in another place. As basic factors, migration take place an area where the migrants believe that their opportunity and life circumstances will be better at their destinations than the present location. Nevertheless, if an area where takes place a movement of in-­migration because of positive conditions (pull factors), this will be generally increased the population or human resources. Similarly, if an area where takes place a movement of out-­migration due to negative conditions (push factors), this area will lose their population or human resources. Some time it affects the negative impacts and potential challenges for sustainable socio-­economic development of this area. Therefore, this study is based on some specific areas of Myanmar: Hpa-­an Township, Kayin State and Mrauk-­U Township, Rakhine State where migration process takes place by focusing the question of how and why the people are migrating in these areas. This paper is intended to explore the migration patterns of these are as and to point out the main reasons of push and pull factors for these migrations. To obtain the relevant data, it is analyzed with field observation and in semi-­structured in-­depth interview survey method to the local authorities, experts and local people. Some of the facts from the interview data are assessed by SWOT Analysis to know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats due to migration. As a result from this study, economic condition is the key factor of the migration for the study areas and that effect on the socioeconomic condition of these areas.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Saw Yu May
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (725K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2015

Title: Myanmar: Portraits of Diversity: Saw Poe Kwar (video)
Date of publication: April 2015
Description/subject: "Commissioned by CPCS, Myanmar: Portraits of Diversity is a series of short films seeking to stimulate discussion and move audiences towards recognizing, accepting, and celebrating religious diversity in Myanmar. Directed by Kannan Arunasalam, the films present individuals from Myanmar’s different religious communities and highlight the inter-faith connections and engagement that take place naturally around the country. Featuring stories of cooperation across religious and ethnic divides, as well as the capacity for peace leadership within the country, community leaders share analysis and insights into the threat of inter-communal violence and illustrate the capacity for peace leadership...The film series seeks to stimulate alternative narratives regarding ethnic and spiritual issues in Myanmar where tolerance and cooperation are highlighted, rather than conflict and persecution. Screened together with guided reflections, the films can be used as tools to stimulate exchanges of ideas about diversity and tolerance, and to create a space to foster acceptance and share visions for the future. The issues raised by individuals featured in the films can be used to generate discussions on Myanmar’s different religious communities and highlight the kinds of inter-faith connections and engagement that take place naturally around the country. A discussion and study guide is available for each video portrait, followed by suggested activities that can also be adapted to different learning environments. For each film, background is provided on the person and their context, followed by five discussion questions and extension activities..."
Language: English and Burmese
Source/publisher: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS)
Format/size: Vimeo player (5:05 minutes)
Alternate URLs: http://www.centrepeaceconflictstudies.org/interventions/myanmar-portraits-of-diversity/
Date of entry/update: 29 September 2015

Title: A View of the Karen Baptists in Burma of the Mid-Nineteenth Century, from the Standpoint of the American Baptist Mission
Date of publication: 27 December 2014
Description/subject: "This article aims to shed light on the significance of the mission policy and interaction between the mission society in America and missionaries in Burma, in order to comprehend the manner in which the Karens of the 19th century were described. The Karens have been known as “a Christianized people,” and they have been described thus both by themselves and others for quite a period of time. While this is still generally the case, yet many point to the fact that such an understanding does not precisely reflect the reality of the situation. As a matter of fact, the Christians, two-thirds of which are Baptists constitute merely a minority of the entire Karen population, slightly over 10 percent of their total number, and the majority of those people have been and still are Buddhists. This situation indicates that the general view of the Karens being Christian is distorted. And if so, one cannot avoid asking why such a distorted view came to grow so dominant with reference to our understanding of those people. A closer look into the historical situation is the key to prove this issue..."
Author/creator: FUJIMURA Hitomi
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies, No. 32, 2014... 上智アジア学 第32 号2014 年 目次 ...Burma Studies in Japan: History, Culture and Religion
Format/size: pdf (696K)
Alternate URLs: http://repository.cc.sophia.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/123456789/36549/1/200000079942_000134000_129.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 September 2015

Title: Creating Non-State Spaces: Interfaces of Humanitarianism and Self-Government of Karen-Refugee Migrants in Thai Burmese Border Spaces
Date of publication: October 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper examines the interfaces of local community based humanitarian organizations with displaced Karen people in Thai-Burmese border spaces and their claims for cultural rights. It argues that Karen people have to organize themselves in a context where they do not have access to social welfare of the state and in which the state is hostile and oppressive to them. Applying Merry’s thesis on the localization and vernacularization of international rights frameworks in the local context, the paper explores the context of power in which different humanitarian actors intervention in the local conflict zone. The author finds that Karen displaced people have differentiated access to humanitarian assistance and that powerful organizations like the Karen National Union are able to benefit while essentializing Karen culture and suppressing internal difference among the Karen to position itself towards the international donor community, thereby becoming “liked” or “preferred” refugees. The paper then also looks at secular and faith-based local humanitarian groups and finds that these groups are deeply embedded in local society and thus able to help effectively. Karen displaced people thus create non-state spaces in border spaces by establishing partnerships with local humanitarian organizations that act as brokers and mediators of international organizations and donors."
Author/creator: Alexander Horstmann
Language: English
Source/publisher: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religioius and Ethnic Diversity
Format/size: pdf (940K-OBL version; 2MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.mmg.mpg.de/publications/working-papers/2012/wp-12-17/
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012

Title: Revitalization and Development of Karen Traditional Medicine for Sustainable Refugee Health Services at the Thai–Burma Border
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: "The Burmese regime’s protracted violent conflict with its ethnic minorities has resulted in 2 million migrants and refugees settling across the border in Thailand. In addition there are an estimated 600,000 internally displaced people in border regions within Burma. For many, conventional health services are limited or unavailable. This article reports on the use, preservation, and practice of traditional Karen medicine among refugees and migrants along the Thai–Burma border. Traditional health practitioners are adapting their practices to meet refugee and migrants’ changing needs, creating options for sustainable community-based health services..."
Author/creator: Gerard Bodeker and Cora Neumann
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Format/size: pdf (312K-reduced version; 553K-original)
Date of entry/update: 21 October 2015

Title: The Bronze Drum and the Karen (ကျိၣ်ဒီးကညီဖိ)
Date of publication: October 2011
Language: Karen (ကရင္ဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Drum Publication Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2015

Title: Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict
Date of publication: 28 March 2011
Description/subject: "Political grievances among Karen and other ethnic nationality communities, which have driven over half a century of armed conflict in Burma/Myanmar, remain unresolved. As the country enters a period of transition following the November 2010 elections and formation of a new government, the Karen political landscape is undergoing its most significant changes in a generation. There is a pressing need for Karen social and political actors to demonstrate their relevance to the new political and economic agendas in Burma, and in particular to articulate positions regarding the major economic and infrastructure development projects to be implemented in the coming years. The country's best-known insurgent organisation, the Karen National Union (KNU), is in crisis, having lost control of its once extensive 'liberated zones’, and lacks a political agenda relevant to all Karen communities. Meanwhile the government's demand that ceasefire groups, such as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, transform into Border Guard Forces under direct Burma Army control throws into question the future of various armed groups that have split from the KNU since the 1990s. In this context, Thailand-Burma border areas have seen an upsurge in fighting since late 2010. Nevertheless, the long-term prospect is one of the decline of insurgency as a viable political or military strategy. Equitable solutions to Burma's social, political and economic problems must involve settling long-standing conflicts between ethnic communities and the state. While Aung San Suu Kyi, the popular leader of the country's democracy movement, seems to recognise this fact, the military government, which holds most real power in the country, has sought to suppress and assimilate minority communities. It is yet to be seen whether Karen and other ethnic nationality representatives elected in November 2010 will be able to find the political space within which to exercise some influence on local or national politics. In the meantime, civil society networks operating within and between Karen and other ethnic nationality communities represent vehicles for positive, incremental change, at least at local levels."
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
Format/size: pdf (2MB - OBL version; 2.3MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/TNI-BurmasLongestWar-AshleySouth-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011

Title: DISPLACED AND MISPLACED OR JUST DISPLACED: Christian Displaced Karen Identity after Sixty Years of War in Burma
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: "...The thesis sought to explore the impact of organized violence, displacement and resettlement has had on the identity of a micro-section of the displaced Karen people – those professing to be Christian and either living in a displaced persons’ camp on the Thai side of the Thai-Burma border or having migrated to a third country under the UNHCR Resettlement Scheme with a special emphasis on Australia. The reason for choosing this particular micro-section of the Karen people is that, though not the predominant faith practiced by the Karen, the Christian Karen are a synecdoche for the Karen internationally. The thesis was informed by theories of organized violence, displacement and resettlement and explored their relationship to the central construct of identity. A transitional ecosystems model was used to explore the interrelationship of these theories and concepts for Christian Karen, displaced from their homeland by organized violence perpetrated by the ruling power of their country..."
Author/creator: Shirley Lorraine Worland
Language: English
Source/publisher: School of Social Work and Human Services, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2010

Title: Pachyderm Party
Date of publication: July 2008
Description/subject: Each June, Karen villagers living on Thailand’s border with Burma gather to show appreciation to elephants—their friends and invaluable helpmates.
Author/creator: Lawi Weng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008

Title: Die Karen im Strudel der Unabhängigkeit
Date of publication: 03 July 2007
Description/subject: Angesichts des britischen Verrats gründet der Karen Anwalt Saw Ba U Gyi am 5. Februar 1947 als ersten Schritt zur Selbsthilfe mit 700 Karen Delegierten aus allen Landesteilen die Karen National Union, KNU. Als politische Organisation soll sie den Einfluss seines Volkes hinsichtlich der Verhandlungen zur Unabhängigkeit Burma’s sicherstellen. Bereits im November ‘46 ist die mächtige kommunistische Partei aus der geeinten Front der Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League, AFPFL Thakin Aung San’s ausgeschlossen worden. Aung San; Panglong Agreement; The Karen during independence
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Burma Riders
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007

Title: The Traditional Festivals of the Karen People
Date of publication: May 2007
Language: Karen (ကရင္ဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Drum Publication Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2015

Title: The Faiths and Traditional Beliefs of the Karen People (ကညီဖိတဖၣ်အတၢ်ဘူၣ်တၢ်ဘါဒီးတၢ်စူၢ်တၢ်နာ်)
Date of publication: March 2007
Language: Karen (ကရင္ဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: http://www.drumpublications.org/download/karenfaithsk.pdf
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2015

Title: Die Karen - Völkermord in Burma
Date of publication: October 2006
Description/subject: Karen? Tja, bis vor kurzem wusste ich gar nicht, dass dieses Volk existiert. Die Karen sind eine ethnische Gruppe in Myanmar/Burma, Nachbarstaat von Thailand. Ja, Thailand, dem beliebten Urlaubsland. Doch was wir sehen ist nicht das, was die Menschen dort vor Ort sehen; Geschichte der Karen; Geschichte des Krieges der Karen; Staudämme; history of the Karen; history of the Karen civil war; water dams;
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Reggae Magazin Revolution
Format/size: Html (45 kb)
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2008

Title: Burma Diaspora
Date of publication: 2005
Description/subject: Burma Diaspora ist ein Dokumentar-Spielfilm, der 2005 während eines 6-monatigen Aufenthaltes in den Karen-Gebieten realisiert wurde. Die Seite enthält viele Bilder, Videos und Hintergrundinformationen zu der Situation der Karen; documentary on the situation of the Karen; the site contains many pictures, videos and background information;
Language: German, Deutsch
Format/size: Html
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2008

Title: Calling Home the Spirits
Date of publication: September 2004
Description/subject: "Karen communities celebrate their annual “wrist-tying” festival. The month of August marks a time of year when the bonds of tradition that bind the Karen people are tied in a symbolic but also quite literal way. In Karen families and communities around the world white threads are tied around wrists in a ceremony known as Lah Ku Kee Su...The chief purposes of the festival, however, are to reinforce Karen identity and contribute to the continuation of Karen culture. Saw Nay Kaw, a young Karen Christian living in the Thai town of Kanchanaburi, home to many Karen, summed it up: “It’s good for Karen culture for Karen people to come together and celebrate once a year like this.”..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004

Title: San C. Po: Elusive Dream
Date of publication: June 2004
Description/subject: "He has been knighted, honored and revered. But San C. Po’s dream of an independent Karen State remains unfulfilled..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2004

Title: "Making a Name for Themselves: Karen Identity and the Politicization of Ethnicity in Burma"
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: The history of Karen nationalism has been interpreted in terms of inter-ethnic conflict and conceptualizations of ethnicity have influenced understanding of Karen political identity. While 'Karen' incorporated various linguistic, sociocultural, religious and political sub-groups, the Karen National Union (KNU) elite promoted a singular pan-Karen identity in order to minimize such diversity. As a result, factionalism emerged between different Karen groups, obstructing the KNU's political vision and leaving many Karens dissatisfied with KNU attempts to represent their various interests. The fall of Manerplaw in 1995 was thus the result of intra-ethnic conflict as much as conflict between Karens and non-Karens.
Author/creator: Jessica Harriden
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies Vol. 7 (2002)
Format/size: pdf (2.67MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol7/index.shtml
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2010

Title: Ein Sommer voller Angst und Verzweifelung: Burmesische Flüchtlinge im thailändisch-burmesischen Grenzgebiet
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: Karen refugees in the thai-burmese border area. Halockani refugee camp run by the Mon National Committee. Mit dem Beginn der großen Militäroffensive burmesischer Truppen gegen die bewaffneten Guerillabewegungen der nationalen Minderheiten haben seit Anfang dieses Jahres nun auch immer mehr Angehörige der Karen Volksgruppe im thailändischen Grenzgebiet Zuflucht gesucht. Das vom Mon National Committee unterhaltene Halockani-Flüchtlingslager der Mon-Volksgruppe hat daher seine Tore im Sommer auch für Karen-Flüchtlinge geöffnet und Versorgungsgüter zur Verfügung gestellt.
Author/creator: Hans-Günther Wagner
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Netzwerk engagierter Buddhisten
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Karen History: in Their Own Words
Date of publication: October 2000
Description/subject: Most Burmese are familiar with aspects of Karen culture, but few are aware of its deeper significance as an expression of their unique values and historical experience.
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Karen: Ideologie, Interessen und Kultur. Eine Analyse der Feldforschungsberichte und Theoriebildung.
Date of publication: 1992
Description/subject: keywords: Karen, ideology, field research, history, scientific theory (? in German: Wissenschaftstheorie), theory forming, cultural debates, ethnology-cultural/social anthropology, literature. "In dieser Arbeit wird die englisch-, deutsch- und französischsprachige Literatur über die Karen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts ausgewertet und im Hinblick auf Theoriebildung und vorherrschende Ideologien analysiert. Untersucht werden dabei verschiedene Karen-Gesellschaften Burmas und Thailands. Die Auswertung der Literatur unter ethnologischen und soziologischen Gesichtspunkten liefert einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte und Theoriebildung über die Karen..."
Author/creator: Reiner Buergin
Language: Deutsch, German
Format/size: PDF (835K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Karen guerillas -- insurgency in Karen State (front-line photos, 1991)
Date of publication: April 1991
Description/subject: Photos taken March-April 1991 at Manerplaw and the front line north of Manerplaw, where there was heavy fighting at the time. Several photos of child soldiers. "Burma has been torn by civil war since the end of colonial rule from the British. One of the largest ethnic groups is the Karen-people. For a long time they maintained their own state, Kawthoolei or Karen land, in the east of the country bordering Thailand. From its base in Manorplow the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) led the armed struggle. In the late eighties they where reinforced by Burmese refugees from the All Burma Student Democratic Front (ADSDF) who escaped the crack down on the democracy movement. The failure of different ethnic groups to unite led to great success for the junta in the mid 90's. Today only a fraction of the KNU remains active and many Karens are living as refugees in Thailand. Many other armed groups have struck deals with the military junta (SLORC) or entered the lucrative drug-trade."
Author/creator: Bjorn Svensson
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Two Indigenous Karen Religious Denominations
Date of publication: 1981
Description/subject: "This paper is a short presentation of two Pwo Karen sects as they may be found in contemporary Western Central Thailand. It will discuss the organization, origin, and cultural content of the two denominations in order to show how their politico-religious concepts and ritual architecture are related to their historical position in a larger system comprising the Buddhist monarchial civilizations of Burma and Thailand. It is my supposition that the religious paraphernalia of present day sects materialized in a certain historical context as symbols of royalty and autonomy, and in the larger social context functioned to identify these Pwo Karen collectively as a sovereign part of a larger civilized world. These symbols of self-defined participation in the world, and at times even claims to superiority, had been moulded according to a model set by the monarchism of the 18th century Mon Buddhist kingdom in Lower Burma. It included a messianic Buddhist framework, which precipitated millenarian expectations of the rise of a world conqueror and subsequent future Buddha, the Buddha Ariya Mettaya, who would install a new and ideal society for the elect. Viewing the history of the Buddhist valley civilizations, be they Burmese, Mon or Thai, we may see that this messianic aspect of Theravada Buddhism has been the catalyst for both social discontent and personal political ambitions within the Buddhist societies of Southeast Asia.2 The term 'Karen' covers a category of people in Burma and Thailand who speak related languages. Karen-speaking people are spread over a large area, and their habitations are found in the hills and forests as well as the lowland. Everywhere Karen groups live interspersed among various other ethnic groups, hill as well as valley peoples..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Soertryk FOLK Reprint Vol. 23 1981 K0BENHAVN
Format/size: pdf (247K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Deference for the Elders and Control over the Younger among the Karen in Thailand
Date of publication: 1980
Description/subject: "This paper examines the foundation of the deference paid the Elders in a Karen forest society in Thailand. It is argued that deference and social control are two sides of the same coin, both resting on the fact that the socially most valuable knowledge in Karen society is an attribute of old age. To analyze the foundation of this knowledge, which endows the Elders with social authority and control, it is useful to distinguish between various types of knowledge, such as knowledge of production-technique and ecology, knowledge of social history, and knowledge of ritual and magic. It is further emphasized that the foundation of the Elders' authority, in contrast to many other societies, is neither control of the means of production nor control of such prestige goods, which in unilineal societies may enter the affinal exchange circulation as bridewealth. Their control derives from their knowledge of social history, from their religious knowledge of cosmology, ritual, and ethics, and from their possession of magical know-how..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Særtryk FOLK Reprint Vol. 21-22 1979/80 - KØBENHAVN
Format/size: pdf (336K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Date of publication: 1978
Description/subject: "...the frequent dichotomization of Burman and Thai "hill-tribes" as animists opposed to the valley population as Buddhists, the Buddhism of the "hill-tribes" being only a thin veneer on animistic beliefs, does not hold. It is rather a question of an inclusive hierarchization of religious activities and value orientations, where the basis for an exclusive dichotomization becomes unclear and elusive, when one investigates the concerned activities more closely. The levels of activities are interlocked and a future value orientation may be directed towards an increased emphasis on "pure" monk- and more Buddhist elements, as the Karens become subsumed under the Thai cash-crop economy and the concommittant cultural contacts. The role of the boungkhos as maintainers of nature's order will disappear when it becomes evident that economic survival under a new economy immediately seems to depend more on insights into the market-mechanisms than on maintenance of the up till now balanced eco-system."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies
Format/size: html (35K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma and the Karens
Date of publication: 1928
Description/subject: "THE object of this book is to present and to explain to the reading public, and to those who are in authority, the condition of the Karens, the position they occupy, and their aspirations as a nation second in importance of the indigenous races of the province of Burma. It is their desire to have a country of their own, where they may progress as a race and find the contentment they seek. It is this contentment which gives a man or a nation that satisfaction and good-will and creates that patriotic feeling so essential to the well-being of the nation. Self-respect in a nation begets respect from other nations and races. What a grand thing the achievement of their ambition will be for the Karens, and what praises and blessing will be showered upon those who shall have made it possible. The Karens will then be in a position to show sincere respect to other races, especially to the Burmese, with whom they have been at variance, and in turn the Burmese will find them worthy of respect and esteem..."
Author/creator: Dr. San C. Po C.B.E.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Elliott Stock (Publisher)
Format/size: html (188K)
Date of entry/update: 05 May 2008

Description/subject: Vor der Ankunft der britischen Kolonialmacht waren die burmanischen Königreiche zwar die dominierende politische Kraft, ihre Herrschaft über die Minderheiten blieb aber beschränkt. Zu keinem Zeitpunkt in der vorkolonialen Geschichte bemühten sich die Monarchen darum, die Minderheiten unter Zwang zu assimilieren. Politisch relevant wurde die ethnische Zugehörigkeit erst unter der britischen Kolonialherrschaft, als das Land in das direkt verwaltete Burma proper (Burma an sich) und in die indirekt verwalteten frontier areas (Grenzgebiete), das vornehmliche Siedlungsgebiet der Minderheiten, geteilt wurde. Karen (KNU); Panglong-Abkommen; Waffenstillstandsabkommen; History of ethnic conflicts in Burma; Karen (KNU); Panglong-Agreement; Ceasefire Agreements;
Author/creator: Heike Löschmann
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
Format/size: html (25k)
Date of entry/update: 19 October 2007

Title: Traditional Karen Dress (ကညီဖိအဆ့ဧိၤစီၤဧိၤအဂ့ၢ်)
Language: Karen (ကရင္ဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Drum Publication Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2015

Title: Traditional Karen Household Tips (Sgaw Karen Version)
Language: Karen (ကရင္ဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Drum Publication Group
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.drumpublications.org/download.php
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2015