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Palong (ปะหล่อง, ပလောင်)

Thai-Burmese. Name of a hill tribe people in Thailand, that originally come from Burma's Shan State (fig.), where they still dwell in large numbers today, often in hilly or mountainous areas (fig.). Their language belongs to the Austro-Asiatic linguistic group and in Thailand they live principally in the province of Chiang Mai, where their population is estimated at around 2,300. Palong women traditionally dress in a short, usually blue, green or black, shinny jacket with a red collar and broad silver waistbands over a long red sarong. Their headdress is usually a simple towel wound around the head like a turban (fig.). Both men and women customarily decorate their teeth with gold and some women wear large, silver, disc-like earrings (fig.). Their livelihood consists of agriculture e.g. the growing of crops such as rice, corn, beans, sugarcane, tobacco, chilies and small plants yielding starchy roots. Besides this they keep small live stock and in Burma their means of living includes the cultivation of tha nat phet, a green leaf also known as Carbia myxa (fig.), or thana hpe (fig.), which is dried and used for wrapping Burmese cheroot cigars (fig.). Sometimes transcribed Palaung and also called De'ang.