Hmong hill tribe 1000 pleat skirt roll Thailand 41″ x 60″ The hill tribe or “mountain people/folk” is a term used in Thailand for all of the various ethnic groups who mostly inhabit the high mountainous Northern and Western regions of Thailand. The hill dwelling peoples have traditionally been migratory and primarily subsistence farmers using agricultural techniques that depleted their heavily forested communities. The Hmong are a subset hill tribe and are believed to have been the original inhabitants of the Yellow River Valley in ancient China. The expansion of the neighboring Chinese from the north, caused a disruption in the Hmong culture and forced them to migrate southwards to Laos and Vietnam to escape oppression and persecution. Efforts to establish themselves as an independent people apart from the expanding Chinese led to their mass exodus further south of China, and eventually into Southeast Asia. Today, the Hmong are located in the Thai Highlands, although some are found elsewhere within the country. Among the hilltribes, the Hmong are becoming well integrated into Thai society as well as being among the most successful, with their population currently at roughly 151,080.