'Hkahku girl tapping opium' - Collection Image, WA0122

This photograph was taken by James Henry Green in Kachin Land in the 1920s. In his dissertation submitted to Cambridge University (1934), Green wrote, ‘the Hkahkus women of the Northern Triangle smoke pipes and do not chew. Opium is grown, chiefly for local consumption. It is, however, seldom taken to excess, as it is smoked in a diluted form toasted with shredded plantain or other leaves. The pipe is made of bamboo, and the smoke is drawn through water. The opium is generally collected by the women who scratch the poppy heads in the morning and scrape off pure opium in the evening. It is sometimes wiped off and kept in the form of impregnated rags’ (p. 147)

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