North Thailand People

The Lisu People In Thailand

  • The Lisu are a Tibeto-Burman highland tribe, originally from southwest China. They can be found in China, India, Myanmar. A few drifted into North Thailand from Burma (Kengtung) and can now be found at Fang, Mae Hong Son, Sukhothai Tak, Khampaeng Phet, Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Rai. The distinctive features of this highland tribe, apart from their clothing and jewelry, are:
  • The Lisu religion is a mixture of ancestor worship and spirit propitiation. They believe all animate things have an associated spirit as do some inanimate objects. Important spirits are those of ancestors, water, mountains and villages. They are not preoccupied with after life and see the spirit world as something for the present, to be dealt with on a daily basis and believe spirits have emotions and failings the same as humans so that they can be so dealt with.
  • Lisu origin myths (mythology) are typical of south China and include stories of the flooding of the World, siblings becoming the basis of the clans, etc.
  • Lisu life ambitions are simple with limited materialist ambitions, they are not thinkers having a philosophical doctrine. They are self critical and look at their shortcomings rather than blame others or events. They look for happiness by following their Lisu traditions, which is a life style based on agriculture, hunting and proper relations with kin, living and deceased.
  • Traditionally in China they enjoyed a reputation as fierce fighters who waged war to defend themselves against the encroachment of the Han invaders
  • The Lisu are monogamous.