Black Lahu tribe

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We work closely with the Black Lahu tribe and learn from them the best ways to live in harmony with our surroundings, as they have done for so many generations. www.hilltribe.org/lahu

We are currently working on a project to create a Museum of ‘Lahu life’ as well as a building a traditional Lahu bamboo hut in the village where visitors will be able to stay and experience first hand, their daily life and routine. All this will be operated by and under the guidance of the village elders and profits shared within the village.

Black Lahu tribe

More about the Lahu: Extracts from "The Hill Tribe living in Thailand" by Emmanuel Perve.

This ethnic minority calls itself Lahu. The Thai call them Mooseur, a word, which comes from the Burmese for "Hunter".
The Lahu living in Thailand, approx 110,000, are spread over 385 villages and consist of 5 distinct groups , the Lahu Nyi (red), the Lahu Na (black), the Lahu Shi (yellow), the Lahu Hpu (white) and the Lahu Shehleh.
The Lahu originally lived in Yunnan (southern China) but they started to move down into northern Burma in the eighteenth century.
The Lahu use slash and burn techniques to clear areas of the jungle where they grow hill rice, corn and cotton. In the past most of the income came from opium growing, but today this has been replaced by fruit, vegetables, flowers, with the aid of the Royal Projects. They also own domestic animals such as black pigs, chickens and some cattle. Hunting and plant gathering supply the rest of the diet.

The Lahu religious beliefs, practices and rites.

The main god is called Geusha or G'ui sha. He is the creator of the heavens and his wife A Ema created Earth . All prayers for harvests and health etc. are addressed to them.
The spirits (Ne) good or bad, are also very important to the Lahu. Offerings are made to the tutelary household spirit.(Yeh ne) so that he will protect the family.
Nature spirits who live outside the village are greatly feared, because, if offended, they can possess people. The village priest then has to arrange an exorcism.
The soul (aw ha) is the spirit part of every human being. The Lahu believe that, if the soul is attacked by an evil spirit, the person in question falls ill.
The village priest or shaman is called To Bon ,or Keh Lupa. He is the main intermediary between the villagers and the god Geusha. He officiates at ceremonies of healing and exorcism by driving out evil spirits. Although often an opium addict, he has to follow strict rules in his life, abstaining from alcohol and being totally faithful in marriage.

The New years Festival.

During this time all the villagers, in traditional dress, organise a procession headed by the priest, who dresses in white. To win Prosperity for the year to come, they sacrifice pigs and chickens to the gods and fruits and vegetables to the spirits, while male and female shamans (Kasorma and Tobos) intone ritual prayers. Then soothsayers predict the future for the village and the community. The ceremony finishes with dance and feasting that lasts for a week.

To learn more about Indigenous Tribes of Thailand and projects that are in hand go to 'The Indigenous Peoples Forum'. www.ikap-mmsea.com

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Visit the Limeleaf eco-Lodge video channel to view a tour of the camp as well as videos of the local Black Lahu village.

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