Karen Village

Karen Village

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fun Fact... What's a LAN? (by Pam Thien)

"I thought I'd share this... happy reading!

I was at the village making sure silversmiths were doing well and everyone is happy when we started talking about the rain. One of my village friends said 'It's going to rain a lot only at the beginning of the year (The year starts in April for them) and the rest of the year will be dry.'

I asked him how he knew. He said the 'lan' told him.

Unlike conventional LANs that we have at our home of office, a hill tribe villager's version of a 'lan' is a small lizard with yellow and black tail. Young lans hatch at the beginning of the rainy season. Villagers out collecting food during these times will find a hatchling or two (or a dozen). Apparently, this year, the hatchlings have black at only the beginning of their tail and yellow from middle 'til the end.

This indicates that it will be wet early in the year and dry until the end of the year.Some years, the tail is all black, some years all yellow, while other years yellow first and black later. The Lan hatchlings have never been wrong. All hatchlings born on the same year has the same tail colors. The pattern changes as they grow older, so only hatchlings are used to forecast the weather.

I am now a little wiser. Hope you are too."

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