I met the Akha in Thailand
Originally from Yunnan Province in southwestern China, the Akha are truly peuple de la mémoire, “people of memory”. Some are able to recite by heart the genealogy of their male ancestors… back to the fiftieth generation.
When two Akha men from the same clan meet and wish to know their ties of kinship, they trace back their lineage together, until they find a common ancestor. Not only do they memorize names, but they also memorize all the migration routes taken by their ancestors from China, to Burma, to Thailand.