The History & Culture of The Lahu Hill Tribe

By | November 16, 2012

The Lahu tribe originated from Southern China via Burma and have been migrating to Thailand since the late 19th century, with an estimated population here of around 40,000 people.

The tribe are divided into two groups: the “Black” group form over 75 percent of the tribe. A second group is known as the “Yellow” group.

Thai’s call this tribe “Muser” because of their legendary skills at hunting in the forest.The tribe are concentrated close to the Burmese border west and north of Chiang Dao and Pai.

Lahu Hill Tribe, Northern Thailand

Their houses are generally built on stilts, with villages consisting of 15-30 households.

Each household consists of families with unmarried children and maybe a married daughter and family.The Lahu believe in the soul, a house spirit, nature spirits and a supreme being who is administered to by a priest.

Traditional clothing of the tribe is black with boldembroidered patterns and bands of cloth for decoration.The trims of sleeves, pockets and lapels are often decorated, with each subgroup using different colours,however the tribe tend to wear ordinary clothes for everyday life, reserving their costumes for ceremonial occasions.