Lisu Tribe

The original dwelling of Lisu ethnic group is at the area of Mae Kong River and Salween River in China. After that they move to live in the north of Myanmar, and finally, migrate to habitat in the north of Thailand almost the past of 100 years. Settle the villages in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Tak, Phayao, Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun, Phrae, and Sukhothai provinces. They can be found in Mae Hong Son in Pai, Pang Mapha, and Mae Hong Son Muang districts, Lisu people prefer to live in the high altitude approximately 1,000 m. up above sea level. Most Lisu’s houses are built across the ground with thatched roofs and normally on the flat area, bamboo walls around the central ridge. The number of bedrooms is up to the family size, the unmarried girl has provided a private room. Every home has an altar with a shelf holding vessels and incense sticks to worship their ancestors. They live as single families only some of them live as extended families, the main Lisu’s economy are agriculture such as crops planting and livestock, and they prepare rice planting for eating, corn planting for raising the animals. Part of Lisu’s income comes from household industry such as sewing, embroidery, making silverware. The outstanding point of Lisu is a woman’s dress which has the most beautiful bright colors of all hill tribe in Mae Hong Son province which consist of a loose wide skirt sewing together with a left badge fasten with buttons, long under knee, it can be blue or green decorating with colorful strips of fabric around the neck and a part attached to the sleeve, the sleeves prefer to use red color to contrast with the color of the shirt, there are also a cloth belt and a multi-colored puttee.

Lisu New Year Celebration.
This is the most enjoyable time of the Lisu Tribe after their painstaking work all the year round. They dress themselves with their new colorful dresses and celebrate their wonderful parties with full drinking and eating. The New Year’s Day of Lisu is called “Gin Waw” it will be held exactly the same day of Chinese New Year. During the end of the year the Lisu will prepare their New Year by boiling and distilling corn spirit, their typical dessert, and preparing to kill the pigs for using in the ceremony, and they will cook some food to celebrate the New Year among them. In that evening most of men in each family will decorate the New Year’s tree by bringing the branch of the tree stick in the area in front of the house, then take a pack of dessert and pork tie them on the tree. During the early evening every family will go to gather at the witch-doctor’s house in the village. There will be a person haunted by a spirit and be asked to protect, and also to wipe out all the evil. At night time all the young who will dress themselves with their beautiful typical dresses come to join dancing which called “Jakue” around the New Year’s tree of every house in the village. In the morning of the New Year’s Day there will be shooting to welcome the coming New Year. During the morning the men will bring all offerings to make an offering to the village spirit house, then continue having celebration and dancing until late at night.


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