Lahu

The Lahu people are an ethnic group of Southeast Asia. They are found in Laos. Vietnam. China and Myanmar. In China. they live in the Yunnan Province and in Vietnam. they live in Lai Chau Province. There are about 20.pp to 60.000 of the Lahu population in this whole region.

The Lahu are divided into a number of subgroups depending on the color such as. Lahu Na or the Black Lahu. Lahu Nyi or Red Lahu. Lahu Hpu or White Lahu. Lahu Shi or Yellow Lahu and the Lahu Shehleh. Depending on the color of their name. the dresses also have the same color.

They originated in south west China. Houses are built on high stilts with walls of bamboo or wooden planks. thatched with grass. A ladder leads to the open central living area. with a store room to one side and living quarters to the other. Their domestic animals like chicken. pigs and buffalos are kept in the basement corral. Their practice of slash and burn agriculture does not provide them with even the basic essentials of life. let alone the enrichment to be found in education for their children. adequate medical care. and the simple amenities of modern life. Lahu women are skilled in weaving cloth. both on back-strap and foot-treadle looms. producing delicate patchwork trims. and unusual embroidery work. The Lahus are animist and believe in one spirit with overall control all the others. About 30% of the Lahus have been converted to christianity and have abandoned their way of life. The Lahu are independent people and love entertainment and the easy life. They are abviously pride themselves on their skills in hunting and trapping.

Lahu trace descent bilaterally. and typically practice matrilocal residence. Their language is in the Loloish branch of the Lolo-Burmese subgroup of the Tibeto-Burman family. The Lahu ethnic group is marked as one of the 135 races of who live in Myanmar. The language they speak is called Lahu Shi and it is noticably a divert dialect from other ethnic groups. An amazing thing about the Lahu people are. the written Lahu language uses the Latin alphabets. The religion of the Lahu is polytheistic. But later on Buddhism was introduced and became widespread. Christianity became estalished with them in the 1800s when the British ruled over the country.

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