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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

An Old Lisu Story

I’ve been meaning to post this yak for a while, and I’ve finally found a way to upload the photos. Hopefully my writing is legible.

I wanted to share with you all a story we heard while we were staying in the little Lisu village on the top of a mountain two weeks ago. Our hiking guide, Abo, stayed with us for the night. It was surprisingly chilly up on that mountain, so, after dinner, we all gathered around the stove fire in the living area, and we asked Abo if he had any stories of the village. We meant to ask for historical stories, but he started telling us a folktale instead. I wrote his story down in my journal later that evening because it needs to be saved forever. Those pages are available in the attached images.

Before you read it, I want you to imagine you’re in the room with us. You’re huddled around a fire with 15 other people, and a man you just met that day is telling you a story in Chinese, a language you do not speak. So for each part of the story, you hear it first in Chinese with dramatic hand gestures and sound effects. Then you hear it again as Shuier translates it into English. Repeat. At every dramatic point, you must pause and see the gestures for the next piece of the story before you can hear what happens.

Please enjoy.