A little bit of history
The Karen ethnic group belongs to a traditionally nomadic people from the Tibeto-Burmese regions. Probably coming from the Yunnan region in China as well as from the high plateau of Myanmar, around the VIII century after JC, they decided to settle down in the North of Myanmar. The first archeologic mention of them dates from 1235. They are called the “Karen” and are known, at that time, for having offered slaves for religious ceremonies. The stele is part of the remains of the conquering kingdom of Bagan, who was known to deport ethnic minorities. It seems that this ethnic group settled down and lived as a minority in the mountains between Thaïland and Myanmar. They lived on crop growing, hunting, fishing, and moved regularly according to the soil resources.
A few rare academic publications by sociologists, anthropologists or ethnologists distinguish several sub-groups of Karens who have slightly dissimilar traditions and geographical evolutions. Despite these, they share a strong identity and community feeling. The Karens who have obtained the Thai citizenship during the XVII century probably descend from the “Sgaws” sub group.