The Lahu (also called Ladhulsi or Kawzhawd ; Chinese 拉祜族 , Pinyin Lāhùzú ) are one of the 55 officially recognized minorities of the People's Republic of China . Many also live in Laos , Thailand , Myanmar and Vietnam and speak the Lahu language, which is named after them . According to the last census in 2010, they counted 485,966 people. The Chinese Lahu live mainly in Yunnan , some migrated to Vietnam.
Society and culture
They mainly grow mountain rice for their own use, and opium as a sales product . Their traditional beliefs include large numbers of spirits for whom they have to hold exorcism rituals. Their successful implementation is checked using an egg oracle .
Language and writing
The Lahu language is a Sino-Tibetan language that belongs to the group of Lolo languages . There are three different dialects, which are also spoken by the Lahu, who live as minorities in Laos , Thailand and Vietnam. Since the three dialects of the Lahu language (Lahu, Lahu Shi and Kucong) differ greatly in terms of their pronunciation, it is often difficult for the Lahu to communicate with one another. The Lahu have long maintained trade relations with the Han and Dai tribes , and many Lahu still speak the Dai language and Chinese today.
The Lahu script is based on the Latin alphabet. The Lahu learned this alphabet from Christian missionaries who were in China before the start of World War II. In 1957 a uniform script was introduced for all Lahu, which is still written today. The script bears a slight resemblance to the characters used in Korea, but the number of vowels and consonants is very different.
Since the Lahu still live in mountain villages at an altitude of over 1000 meters, many other mountain villages, especially in China, have adopted the language and, in some cases, the script of the Lahu.
- Su Shanshan: "Chopsticks Only Work in Pairs": Gender Unity and Gender Equality among the Lahu of Southwest China. Columbia University Press, New York 2002.
- Anthony R. Walker: Śākyamuni and G'ui sha. Buddhism in the Lahu and Wa Mountains . (Studia Instituti Anthropos, 54) Academic Press Friborg, Freiburg (Switzerland) 2014, ISBN 978-3-7278-1739-7
- Anthony R. Walker: From Spirits of the Wilderness to Lords of the Place and Guardians of the Village and Farmlands. Mountains and Their Spirits in Traditional Lahu Cosmography, Belief, and Ritual Practice . In: Anthropos , Vol. 110, No. 1, 2015, pp. 27–42.
- Anthony R. Walker: Water in Lahu Ritual and Symbolism . In: Anthropos , Vol. 106, No. 2, 2011, pp. 359-378.
- Video documentary about Lahu
- The Lahu ethnic minority (Chinese government side)
- English-Lahu Lexicon by James A. Matisoff (PDF file)
- Sanit Wongsprasert: Opiate of the People? A Case Study of Lahu Opium Addicts. (PDF; 170 kB) In: John McKinnon, Bernard Vienne (Eds.): Hill Tribes Today: Problems of Change. White Lotus, Bangkok 2009, pp. 159-172