This buckle with pin has finely engraved natural motifs with a central pin that was used to fasten the piece to a garment. This type of buckle was worn by Akha, Lahu and Lisu women. Silver is regarded as having protective properties and has traditionally been a form of wealth to be passed down as family heirlooms. Silver was valued more highly than gold by many highland communities, who used it as currency for trade. Old silver coins from Burma, French Indochina and China were often melted down or incorporated to make jewellery, and other accessories for both men and women.Originally, highlanders from China, the Akha, Lisu and Lahu have recently begun to move southwards into mainland Southeast Asia.