Thai People In Northeastern Thailand (Isan)
- The Kui were the original inhabitants of parts of Thailand and Cambodia and in 1995 some 180,000 were recorded as living in the Isan Provinces of Ubun Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket and Surin. The Kui language is Mon- Khmer and part of the Austo-Asiatic group. Kui features can vary largely as a result of successive invasions to the region by Indonesians, Melanesians, Mon and Khmer.
- Some have negroid features similar to the Negroid aborigines of the Malay Peninsula, other Kui have fair skin as a result of mixing with Melanesians and Indonesians prior to the Mon- Khmer invasions. These events are explained in the Empires sections of the Thailand, and related Cambodia and Vietnam Web Sites. Kui can also be found in Laos and Cambodia.
- The Kui language is distinct but with variations between the Kui sub groups (of which there are 5).
- There is no written form for their language and traditions and knowledge are handed down orally from one generation to the next. Kui practice a kind of Buddhism strongly modified by spirit beliefs and superstitions. They believe many spirits must be propitiated in order to avoid misfortune. They obey many taboos and accept the fortune telling skills of their sorcerers. They wear charms and amulets to protect themselves from evil spirits. Parents bind a good luck charm to the wrist of children for the first three years to protect them from evil spirits.