Lahu Ethnic Minority

With a history of more than thousands of years, the Lahu ethnic minority is one of the oldest ethnic groups in China. Lahu ethnic minority speaks Lahu language, worships many gods, enshrines “Esha(厄莎)”.

Distribution of Lahu Ethnic Minority

Lahu ethnic minority is distributed in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and other countries. The Lahu ethnic minority in China is distributed in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. In Yunnan, Lahu people mainly live on the west bank of Lancang river in Pu’er, Lincang and Xishuangbanna, including Linxiang district, Gengma, Lancang, Menglian, Ximeng, Jinping and other counties. 

History of Lahu Ethnic Minority

Lahu ethnic minority has a long history and rich historical legends. Legend has it that the Lahu ancestors originally lived a hunting life, in order to chase a red deer getting into a southern dense forest, they found lush grassland and began to migrate from the north to the south. According to research, Lahu minority originated from the ancient Diqiang tribe and belonged to one of the its descendants. By the 18th century, the Lahu ethnic minority had settled roughly in its present distribution. Under the influence of feudal mode of production of the Han and Dai, they changed their hunting life to a settlement life dominated by agriculture. With the development of economic production, the Lahu society slowly converted to feudalism. Life customs and other aspects were also influenced by the Han and Dai ethnic groups to a certain extent.

In the Ming dynasty, the Lahu ethnic minority appeared in the present Chuxiong and Xinping county. They were referred to in the literature as “Guocong(果葱)”. In the Qing dynasty, because of the frequent wars in the Lahu areas, the activities of the Lahu ethnic minority increased in the literature. In the 18th year of Guangxu emperor (1892), in view of the increasing importance of the political and economic status of the Lahu ethnic minority in the border areas, and in order to strengthen the governance of Lahu, the Qing government implemented the bureaucratization of native officers in Shuangjiang, Lancang and Menglian where Lahu people concentrated.

Feature of Lahu Areas

The subtropical hilly areas along the Lancang River where the Lahu people live in compact communities are fertile, suitable for planting rice paddy, dry rice, maize, buckwheat as well as tea, tobacco, and sisal hemp. There are China fir and pine, camphor and nanmu trees in the dense forests, which are the habitat of such animals as red deer, muntjacs, wild oxen, bears, peacocks and parrots. Found here are also valuable medicinal herbs like pseudo-ginseng and devil pepper. Mineral resources in the area include iron, copper, lead, aluminum, coal, silver, mica and tungsten.

Cultural Heritages of Lahu Ethnic Minority


Festivals of Lahu Ethnic Minority

Lahu Ethnic Towns 

Lahu Villages

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