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[Lisu]

   

 

Volksstämme in Thailand

Lisu

Die “Hill Tribes”, die Bergvölker Thailands, sind im Moment an verschiedenen anderen Stellen innerhalb von ClickThai erwähnt. Hier bekommen sie eine eigene Seite. Bald.

 

     

 

   
   

The Lisu people live in Thailand and Southern China, number around 2,800 and are thought to come from Tibet. They are remarkable for their brightly coloured dress and fabric art, which uses folded cloth of different colours rather than the embroidery style of other hill tribes. Also remarkable is that they recognise authority on a clan rather than village level and are free to choose their own marital partners. This photograph is taken at a market at Paang Ma Phaa.

 
 

 

   
   

The Thai call this tribe Lisaw. Their language is of the Tibeto-Burman family. The one Lisu dialect spoken in Thailand is 30% borrowed from the Yunnanese. The first arrivals in Thailand were reported in the Fang district in 1905, by 1983 there were 18,000 Lisu in some 110 villages. Burma has around 250,000 and in China there are over 500,000. 47% of the Thai Lisu live in the Chiang Mai province, 25% in Chiang Grai and 19% in Mae Hong Son. The rest are in Phayao, Tak, Kamphengphet, Sukothai ,and Petchabun. The Lisu in Thailand have much Yunnanese influence and often refer to themselves as Chinese Lisu. Many Lisu in China are Christians. In Thailand several hundred have come to Christ and are freed from the bondage of evil spirits and heroin.

 
 

 

   
   

Although they call themselves "Lisu", meaning lovers of peace and freedom, most Thai people call them "Lisaw". The Lisu Hill Tribe has Tibeto-Burman origins, migrating from Tibet thru Southern China and Burma to Northern Thailand to escape from war and fighting.
Due to migrations in search of personal freedom, Lisu came into contact with many different Tribes and can therefore generally speak a variety of languages such as Chinese, Laos, Akha and Lahu. Lisu have no written language, instead they rely on memories passed down from generation to generation. However, a written language based on the Roman script has been developed by missionaries to help teach Christianity.

Lisu live in villages comprising of 30-100 houses. Each village has a Traditional Leader, a Spiritual Leader (Mor muu pah), a Spirit Doctor (Nee pah) and village elders. This group plays a key role in managing the village and resolving disputes and problems. Houses in a Lisu village are built using easy techniques. They are built directly on the ground as opposed to other Hill Tribes which build their houses on stilts. The roof is made of cogon grass and bamboo is used for the walls of the structure. Some houses are built from mud, however in the present day, these type of houses are rarely seen. Within the house there are normally four rooms, for the parents, daughters, sons and guests. In the middle of the far wall inside the house is an ancestoral alter (Da bia) which cannot be touched by anyone, except during ceremonies. Traditionally meals used to be cooked on the fireplace inside the house, however, nowdays they are cooked in the kitchen, a separate building outside.

Despite the changes occurring through globalisation, Lisu still follow their culture and traditions. This is because Lisu believe that if there is culture, then there is life, without culture there is no life (Lee biar show shua). (top)

 
 

 

   
    The most colorful of all the Thai hill tribes in Thailand has to be the Lisu hill tribe, whose women wear brightly colored blue or green colored striped tunics, split up the sides to the waist, a wide black belt and blue or green pants.

Less is known about the Lisu hill tribe than the other hill tribes in Thailand, but the Lisu people believe they are the origin of all the hill tribes. The legend goes that a Great Flood killed everyone except a Lisu boy and his sister. Since incest was taboo, they had to undergo a series of tests to prove that they could marry, the tests, of course, proved they should marry. The many children that came from this Lisu marriage went on to produce all the other hill tribes in South East Asia.

In reality, the Lisu Hilltribe also has its origins in Tibet, migrating from there to Southern China and then to Burma to escape the Chinese wars. The people of the Lisu hill tribe most likely migrated into Thailand from Burma sometime in the late 1800s.

The Lisu hill tribe people live at moderate to high altitudes between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, but also in western Chiang Rai and Phayao provinces of the Golden Triangle area in Thailand. Their villages consist out of 30 a 100 houses, built using easy techniques, directly on the ground as opposed to the other Thai Hill Tribes which build their houses on stilts.


Lisu hill tribe girls - Golden Triangle ThailandThe houses of the Lisu hill tribes have dirt floors and bamboo walls around a central ridge. Within the house there are normally at least four rooms, for the parents, daughters, sons and eventual guests. Every Lisu home has an ancestral alter, the "Da Bia" at the back of the living area, honoring their Lisu ancestors.

Each Lisu village has a village leader, a spiritual leader (Mor Muu Pah), a spirit doctor (Nee Pah) and a council of village elders. This group plays a key role in managing the Lisu village and resolving disputes.

Until recently, Lisu hill tribes were heavily involved in the opium trade, and were reputed as to produce the best quality opium available in Thailand.


Lisu girl working in the Opium FieldsIn Thailand opium and heroin addiction along the Lisu hill tribe people is declining, and the Lisu are responding well to alternative cash crop production scheme of the Thai government. But the attraction to the wealth from opium cultivation is still very strong along the members of the Lisu hill tribes in Thailand.

Lisu hill tribe people are known as excellent silversmiths and make silver jewelry for the Akha and Lahu hill tribes in Thailand.

Courtship and marriage in-between Lisu hill tribe members is highly organized, involving a very high "Bride Price". Marriage should only be between members of the twelve different Lisu clans.

The religion of the Lisu is a combination of ancestor worship and animism. The Lisu hill tribe people believe strongly in the spirit world, and their shamans are used to divine the causes and cures of all problems and sicknesses.

The Lisu are a very handsome people, perhaps the best-looking of all the hill tribes, and they like to think of themselves as being above their other Hill tribe neighbors. Consequently, they are among the least reserved of the hill tribes in Thailand.

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There are about 30,000 Lisu People in Thailand. They are scattered throughout all of north Thailand, particularly between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, and also in western Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, Tak, Lampang, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Rhet, and Phetchabun provinces.

The Lisu belong to the Tibeto - Burman branch of the Sino - Tibetan linguistic family.

They are divided into two ethnic subgroups

? The Flowery or Hua Lisu
? The Black or He Lisu.

Most of the Lisu in Thailand are flowery Lisu. Their settlements are located in the highlands at an average altitude of about 1,000 metres. Like most hill people, the Lisu are heavily engaged in agriculture. They grow rice, corn and vegetables as subsistence crops and grow opium for sale. They draw additional income from the sale of domesticated animals such as pigs and cattle.

The Lisu are known for their colorful dress. The Lisu probably originated in Eastern Tibet but came to Thailand from Yunnan in China about 100 years ago.

The Lisu tribe is made up of several clans. The clan is important because it stands as the chief determinant of kinship relations and marriage rules. Monogamy and clan exogamy are the ideal practices which, when followed, strengthen familial ties and provide a cohesive force in Lisu society. Kinship relations are centred on the family and extended in increasingly wider circles to the tribe as a whole. Lisu solidarity, despite the lack of a political secular leader at village level, depends on this in a way that differentiates them from other tribes.

Culturally speaking, the Lisu have adopted much which is Chinese. For example, they celebrate their New Year on the same day as the Chinese. They are animists and ancestors worshippersand their reputation as individualists makes them quite distinct.

The Lisu are a fiercely independent people, who are in general adjusting well to the changes taking place in their society. They make their clothing from gaily-coloured cloth stitched into outfits trimmed with row upon row of vari-coloured strips of cloth.

The women wear brightly coloured costumes, consisting of a blue or green parti-coloured knee length tunic, split up the sides to the waist, with a wide black belt and blue or green pants. Long hair is tied at the back. Sleeves, shoulders and cuffs are heavily embroidered with narrow, horizontal bands of blue, red and yellow. At New Year festival, in mid- January, dazzling displays of wealth are worn, including waistcoats and belts of intricately fashioned silver and hats with multi-coloured pom-poms and streamers. Men wear green, pink or yellow baggy pants and a blue jacket opening vertically.

The Lisu live at moderate to high altitudes. Their houses are built on the ground, with dirt floors and bamboo walls around a central ridge. They live as extended families, the number of bedrooms depending on the family size. The Lisu like to settle near the tops of mountains, as close as possible to streams or waterfalls. Their houses never have more than one door and are oriented to stand parallel to the face of the mountain on which they live.

Each village has a spirit house, and each house has a small shrine to spirits an ancestors. In addition, because the Lisu are the "engineers" among the Hilltribes, most of their villages feature a large bamboo pipe, a conduit, that carries to the village water from the nearest source. Unmarried girls have a private bedroom after puberty. Every home has an altar at the back of the communal living area with a shelf holding vessels and incense sticks honoring their ancestors.

The Lisu believe strongly in the spirit world, and their shamans are used to divine the causes and cures of all problems and sickness. These hilltribe people are perhaps the best looking of all the tribes, and they like to think of themselves a little bit above their other hilltribe neighbors. They are among the least bashful of these ethnic groups and in general adjusting well to the changes taking place in their society.

Although promiscuous, courtship and marriage are highly stylized, involving a high "bride price". There are twelve clans of Lisu, and marriage should be between members of different clans. The Lisu believe strongly in the spirit world, and their shamans are used to divine the causes and cures of all problems and sickness.

Many Lisu villages were involved in the opium trade, and are reputed to have grown the best opium. Addiction rates are declining, and the Lisu are responding well to alternative cash crop production, but the link between wealth and opium is still strong. A Lisu headman has little power over his community, with the clan system generally over-riding his authority.

The Lisu are a handsome people, perhaps the best looking of all the tribes, and they like to think of themselves as a cut or two above their other Hilltribe neighbors. Consequently, they are among the least bashful of these ethnic groups, and, although patient, like to be a bit competitive as well.

Villages of this colourful ethnic group are to be found in the mountains of China, Myanmar (Burma) and northern Thailand. There are approximately 21000 Lisu living in Thailand. For many generations the main means of livelyhood for many of the Lisu people has been the cultivation of the opium poppy. Some of these people have given up poppy growing, and are now seeking to supplement their income through the sale of skillfully produced crafts. Lisu men produce crossbows, musical instruments, bird and animal traps, and other items made of wood, bamboo and rattan. A few Lisu people have been converted to christianity by western missionaries.


           
                 


Letzte Aktualisierung dieser Seite: 03.08.2002