Lahu Nationality

 Population and Distribution:
Lahu ethnic group has a population of 453,705. Most of them are scattered around the Lancangjiang Lahu Autonomous County and Menglian, Shuangjiang Autonomous Counties, with others in the Simao, Lincang and Xishuangbanna Regions. It is said that they have been living there since the 18th century.

 Language and Character:
Their language is a member of Tibetan-Burman group of the Sina-Tibetan phylum. Their written characters were formed based on early ones that were more unified in 1957. Lahu, in their language, means to roast the meat of the tiger. It indicates that this ethnic group was quite good at hunting.

Most people believe in Mahayana (one of the major schools of Buddhism, teaching social concern and universal salvation) as well as the group's original religion, that is, they think everything in the world has its spirit. A few of them are Christians.

Black is their favorite color. Traditionally the men wear black coats, trousers, and black belts around their heads. Women's gowns greatly resemble cheong-sam (the traditional long dress with high collar and slit skirt).

They normally cook in bamboo containers, which can both retain the pristine flavor of materials and add the fragrance of the fresh bamboo. They also like to make tea in bamboo wares. Through frying, pressing and baking, when the tea is taken out and steeped, it smells extremely distinctive.

In their literature, there are many poems handed down orally. According to those, they are confident that their ancestors were born from cucurbit. This also affects their music. Many musical instruments are formed from cucurbit. Lusheng, a wind instrument constructed from bamboo and a gourd is their favorite.

The Chinese New Year is regarded as the grandest days which are called 'Kuota' in their language and can be divided into the great year and the lesser year. The great year, from the first day to the fourth of the first lunar month, is celebrated especially for women and the other one from the ninth day to the eleventh, for men. The 'full year' indicates the twelfth day of that month and is celebrated by all the people.

This is derived from an old custom. Long ago, the men hunted afar and could not arrive home by the start of the New Year. When they returned, women would celebrate the New Year again with them. On the first day, they hurry to carry the first barrel of 'new water' that is the token of happiness, then worship their ancestors, and feed oxen with tender grass; on the third day, they visit each other with gifts of food, singing and dancing; after the 'full year' they hold various activities like swinging and playing the peg-top. This will last till the fifteenth day.

 More Ethnic Groups in Yunnan Area:
Yi     Bai     Hani     Dai     Zhuang     Miao     Lisu     Wa     Jingpo     Achang

- Last updated on Sep. 27, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Lahu Nationality
Asked by Mrs.cheng from USA | Mar. 11, 2010 18:10Reply
I'm going to a Lahu villege with my church to build a water system. I'd like to learn some words in their language.
Answers (2)
Answered by Ms.Esi from USA | Mar. 26, 2010 22:47

Hi Mrs. Cheng
My name is Esi but just call me Si or Sri . I am going to teach you some easy words for greeting. like
How are you? Cheh sha cheh aw la?
very good . da ja.
very good food.( delicious) meh ja.
happy . Ha le ja.

I am not very good with English but i hope you will take it some.

so Tell my about yourself ? and your mission in the lahu village . what country you will going ? I am from Thailand.I am really looking for Lahu people in the USA. I knew a friend in california but she didn't talk to me anymore. I am in ohio usa. I am really looking for friends whom are in this country . I would love to go to festival and what ever they getother.
reply me at|esikham and tell me about lahu in usa .please
Answered by Mr.pastor park from USA | Aug. 24, 2010 18:45

cheh sha cheh aw la? lahu ya te pha o.
How are you, Mrs. Cheng & Ms. Esi?
I'm a church's pastor, from Korea.
I had been a missionary at Chiang Rai city & Amphuh Fwang in North Thailand, 1989~2000.
I can speak Lahu Nyi language.
I want to connect to some who live in the USA, while I am staying in New Jersey. I will be going back as a missionary in October of 2010.
Please, connect with me by my E-mail,|hp27k.
I know some living in Visalia, California.
You can find some you tube video if you serch 'lahu people america' on google search.
I hope G'ui sha naw hui hka pui aw hkaw bon na pi o.
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