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Central Thailand People

  • The inhabitants of Central Thailand after the prehistoric period were the Austro-Asiatic speakers, the Mon and the Khmer . Then came the Tai tribes and their principal group was the Siamese Tai . There are pockets of Mon speakers today but most tribes merged to produce a diverse looking nation.
  • Another significant migration group were the Chinese , many of whom mixed into the local communities. As with the other regions there are also minor ethic groups. The largest of these minority ethnic groups are the Karen who inhabit the mountain range to the west along the Myanmar boarder.
  • The Tai tribes came from China in the 13th C and the Khmers are believed to have come to Thailand (and Cambodia) in the 6th C , both groups displacing animist Austro-Asiatic speakers of numerous tribes.
  • The Khmers dominated the area and their language, beliefs and political systems were the basis of human daily life until displaced by the Tai. Today people call themselves Thai but this does not necessarily mean they are Tai.

Tai Tribes In Central Thailand

Of the 30 Tai tribes or Groups to be found in modern Thailand, 9 can be identified in Central Thailand. These are:
  • the Siamese Tai or Thai
  • Thai Khom
  • Thai Klang
  • Tai Noi or Central Thai  (over 20 million)
  • The Phuan (over 200,000)
  • The Tai Bueng (over 6,000)
  • The Lao Ngaew (30,000)
  • The Lao Song (50,000)
  • The Lao Wieng (50,000)
  • The Lao Krang (50,000) and
  • The Yoy (10,000)