Lahu nationality is one of the oldest ethnic groups in China, whose language is Lahu. It belongs to the Yi branch of the Tibeto Burmese language family of the Sino Tibetan language family. It worships many gods and worships "Esha".
The Lahu people are distributed in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and other countries. The Lahu people in China are distributed in 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government. They are mainly distributed in the West Bank of Lancang, from Lincang and Gengma in the north to Lancang and Menglian in the South.
According to the sixth national census in 2010, the total population of Lahu in China is 485966. As a cross-border ethnic group, more than 160000 Lahu people live in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and other countries.
Before the founding of the people's Republic of China, the Lahu people worshipped many gods and worshipped "Ersha" (some translated as Erxia). It is believed that Ursa is the great God who creates human beings in the universe, dominates all things, and decides people's good or bad fortune. It is worshipped in the forbidden area of the deep mountains and forests and is not accessible to its own people. Also, he worships the God of earth, the God of Si Bao, and the God of thunder. Bakanai township of Lancang County still retains its traditional sacrificial facilities, that is, in the village square and every corner, there are various forms of poles, which are engraved with geometric patterns.
At the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, Dali monk Yang Deyuan and his disciples introduced Mahayana Buddhism to the Lahu area, which made the Lahu's Buddhist belief flourish. After Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty, four Buddhist activity bases were established in Gengma, Shuangjiang, and other counties in today's Lincang area, each with a Buddha statue as its true biography; Five Buddhist activity centers have been established in financing County, each with one Sutra as its true biography. So there are four Buddhas and four runs, five Buddhas, and five scriptures among Lahu people. At that time, the missionary activities of Han and Bai monks in the Lahu area had obvious anti-Qing nature. In several Lahu peasant wars, Buddhism played an important role in calling and organizing, and in Shuangjiang, Lancang, and other places, there was a situation of political and religious integration. Due to the unity of politics and religion, the local organizations of Mahayana Buddhism disintegrated after the peasant uprising was suppressed by the Qing government. However, as a religious belief, Mahayana Buddhism is still quite popular among the people.
In modern times, Western Christianity and Catholicism spread to the Lahu area first and then. According to relevant statistics, in the early days of the founding of new China, more than 25000 Lahu and Wa people believed in these two religions in Lancang County alone. Among them, Christianity has the largest number of believers, the greatest influence, and the widest range of activities. It spread from Nuofu in the border area of Lancang County (today's Nuofu township) to the outside world, and its influence spread all over Yong'an, Donghui, Fubang, Wendong, Shangyu and Lahu, and Wa areas in Cangyuan, Shuangjiang, and other counties. Catholicism has a smaller sphere of activity. Up to now, some Lahu people in Lancang County still believe in Christianity. They worship on Sundays and celebrate Christmas every year on December 25 of the Gregorian calendar. During the festival, dancing white dance, playing Lusheng, and playing Kouxian have been integrated into Lahu culture and become a part of it.
Clothes & Accessories
The clothing of the Lahu nationality is beautiful, loose, and generous, which is full of national characteristics. Black clothing is a prominent feature of Lahu costumes. Most of the costumes are made of black cloth, with colorful threads and colored cloth decorated with various lace patterns, and then inlaid with white silver bubbles, so that the whole color is deep and contrast, giving people unlimited beauty. Lahu men wear collarless right cardigan top, wide trousers, and a black headscarf. Young men also need to wear a coat with a black face and white lining. Some of them wear hats, some wear hats.
It's wrapped in black cloth. The hat is made of 6-8 triangular blue and black cloth, with a blue cloth or black edge on the lower edge and a colored thread on the top. There are mainly two kinds of women's clothing, one is the right front black long shirt, which is split at waist level into both sides, and the feet are straight to the feet. At the fork, hem, and cuff of the long shirt, geometric pattern lace of red, white, and yellow is inlaid, dozens of Silver bubbles are inlaid along the collar and cardigan, and black trousers with a diagonal crotch are worn below. The other is a short shirt with a very small cardigan, almost like a pair of cardigans. The edge of the shirt is inlaid with calico stripes. It has no collar and small cuffs. The length of the shirt is up to the waist and the skirt is under it. The upper body is lined with a white T-shirt, and the blouse is exposed above the skirt. A headband of various colors wrapped in black cloth or with threads. In winter, women who wear trousers often wear leg protectors with embroidered patterns on their legs. Women are used to wearing silver earrings and bracelets. In places where they have more contact with Han and Dai people, Lahu men and women also like to wear Han and Dai clothes.
Lahu people used to have two meals of the solar eclipse, and their staple food was rice and corn. Like to use chicken or other ingredients with rice or corn to make porridge, there are vegetables, mushrooms, blood, meat, and other porridge, of which chicken porridge is the best. Lahu people like to cook vegetables, meat, seasonings, and water in a thin bamboo tube, which has the fragrance of bamboo and keeps the original flavor of the meat. The Lahu people used to and now have the habit of eating barbecue. Barbecue has a unique flavor. Most of them put the meat coated with salt and spices in the middle with two bamboo sticks, and then put it on the edge of the fire pool, and slowly roast it yellow, fragrant, and crisp. Or cover the meat with banana leaves and bury it in the fire. The barbecue is crisp and delicious, with Spicy seasoning. It is very appetizing. The water and debris of the prey are burned on the spot and cooked in a bamboo tube. Middle-aged people like to drink steaming "heart-protecting blood" with their hands when they open their stomachs. It is said that the heart-protecting blood of prey has the magical effect of Tonifying blood and eliminating strain.
There are five main traditional festivals of Lahu nationality, namely Spring Festival, Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Torch Festival, and Mid Autumn Festival. According to the Lahu calendar, there are 12 days in a round, 30 days in a month, and 12 months in a year. In some places, when the Lahu people encounter a leap month year, they will have two festivals and two years. Some only celebrate the previous month's festival, not the following month's festival.