Laha ethnic group

Lables: Ethnic Groups, Kadai Group, Laha ethnic group
Suitable names: Laha, Kla Phlao.
Other names: Xa Cha, Xa Bung, Xa Khao, Xa Tau Nha, Xa Poong, Xa Uong, Bu Ha, Pua.
Regional groups: Dry Laha (Khla Phlao), Water Laha (Laha ung).
Population: 1.400 people (1999 census).
Language: The speaking language belongs to the Kadai language group (Tai- Kadai language household)
History: The Laha were early inhabitants of the country’s northwest region. According to some ancient documents in Thai language, around the 11th-12th century, when the black Thai moved to this area, they encountered the ancestors of the present Laha. Simply because of this, when conducting neighborhood worshiping rites, the Thai nonetheless organize the “white water buffalo” feast to worship a spirit called Am Poi – a popular Laha leader dating to the 11th century.

Production activities: The Laha have begun to practice irrigated rice farming, but they continue to rely on the slash and burn strategy, hunting, and the gathering of fruit. Their cultivation style is very easy they use a pointed digging stick and a paring knife. The principal crops are sticky rice, corn, beans, and cotton. In the past, Laha females did not know how to weave. Later, they discovered weaving from the Thai, and began making their personal garments.

Diet: The principal meals is steamed sticky rice, even though they have started consuming regular rice. Other foods are salted, grilled, roasted, or “dried to preserve them. Females chew betel nuts.

Clothes: In former times, males like to put on their lengthy hair wrapped in a bun these days, however, only old guys and the shaman still keep up with this custom. Females blacken their teeth, and dress in a Black Thai style. In some areas, they wear an apron outside their skirt, or they might place it around their shoulders when the weather is cold. Single usually women wear their hair in a bun on the back of the head, even though married ladies follow a Black Thai style of wearing the bun on the top of the head.

Even so, in some locations, young and old alike put on their hair in a bun on the leading of the head. In places with heavy White Thai influence, ladies whether or not married or single – just roll up their hair or place in a bun on the back of their heads.

Housing: They reside in stilt houses of two types: The initial are temporary houses, inhabited from one particular to three years by these who are nomadic and practice slash and burn agriculture. This kind of house is distinguished by a lengthy oval roof that resembles the jaw of a pig. Permanent houses are for those who live a sedentary life-style, or these who are semi-nomadic. This variety of property has a curved round roof that is shaped like a tortoise shell, and is equivalent to these of the Black Thai.

There are two distinct areas in a Laha property: a living area area that occupies about a half to two-thirds of the complete residence and the rest that is living space for household inhabitants and guests. Dividing the guest quarters and the living quarters is a column, which normally has a rice wine jar is tied to it.

Transportation: The Laha use baskets, water buffaloes, and horses.
Social organization: The Laha reside in villages. In former occasions, the head of a village was known as Khun cai. His two assistants, who had been popularly elected, had been called Khun tang and Khun teng.
The Laha have small, patriarchal households. Youngsters bear the father’s name, and wives adopt the name of their husbands. Daughters are prohibited from inheriting house from their parents.

Marriage: The Laha practice monogamy. Marriage is obtaining a bit industrial, displayed by the quantity of funds named nang kha pom (value per each and every person’s head), which the groom has to pay to the bride’s parents. In addition, the groom has to move in with his wife’s household. On the other hand, young women and males are free to date and to uncover their partners without having the parents’ interference. After a period from 3 to 5 days of getting acquaintance with every single other, the young man asks his parents to check out his girlfriend’s house to propose a wedding. The boy’s loved ones will give betel nuts to the girl’s family, in exchange for a shirt of the bride, which is used for fortune telling purposes. The betel nut will be delivered to all of the girl’s relatives in order to ask their opinions on her marriage. These who do not approve of it will return the betel nuts to the bride. In five days, if the girl’s parents don’t give the betel nuts back to the groom’s household, it implies that they accept the proposal, and in 10 days the groom will move to his wife’s property, and perform for her parents. Only when this period is over, can the wedding be arranged, called thu ma phu (meals and wine). Right after the wedding, the bride will be taken to her husband’s loved ones. She will adopt her husband’s name, and will not be able to go back to her parents’ residence, even when her husband dies. When a widow remarriages, her new husband will have to bring some certain gift, named thu coi poong to her former parents-in-law’s family members, but not to her parents. A widow, even right after remarriage, nevertheless believes that when she dies, her spirit will go back to her ex- husband with whom she had the thu ma phu wedding. Therefore, in some locations, if parents die with no getting held that ceremony, their children will have to do it for them, so that their parents can reside with each other in heaven.

Funerals: The Laha do not cremate corpses like the Black Thai rather, they bury their dead. The dead is wrapped in cloth, or bamboo mat, and then carried to the gravesite. Only then it is put into a coffin and buried. If the deceased was a father, his son would use a knife to destroy the father’s altar to chase away the grandfather’s ghost only then can he start to worship his own father’s spirit. If the deceased was a mother, then her son utilizes the knife to tap on the mother’s sleeping internet site this action chases away his grandmother’s ghost, and makes it possible for the son to begin worshiping his mother’s spirit. The deceased is put on the very same direction as the house’s transverse beam. If the deceased was a father, he will be placed below the 1st (primary) beam if the deceased was a mother, she will be placed below the second beam. If the deceased had been the eldest son, he would be placed below the third beam. When carrying the deceased to the burial internet site, a father will be brought out by the door of the guest’s quarters. If the deceased is a mother, the family members destroys the front wall to carry her out of the residence. If the deceased is a son, he will be brought out by the door exactly where water is stored.

On the grave, the Laha create a tiny house, about two meters tall, with two roofs. They use some of the thatch on the roof at house for the grave’s roof. If the deceased was a father, they use the thatch of the sleeping place, where the head lies. If the deceased was a mother, then they use the thatch of the sleeping place exactly where the legs lie. If the deceased was a son, they use the thatch from the patio where they dry rice. If the deceased was a daughter, they use the thatch of the area exactly where water is stored. They place all essential items for living into the grave house, such as rice baskets, tobacco pipe, clothing, bed covers, a mat. When’ coming back to the property from the funeral, the family members usually stirs up the rice mortar to hold ghosts from coming back to harm the household.

Beliefs: The Laha worships their ancestors in a area known as hong, like the Thai. The ritual specialist (mot lao) calls back spirits, and drives away ghosts. Either when a year, or after every couple of years, mot lao will have a ritual to worship his ancestors, and other Gods. Amongst these Gods, the most frightening ones are the Linga God and the Sword God Consequently, in each mot lao’s, altar, there are constantly effigies of a linga, a sword, and a shield.

It is a taboo to bring green vegetable, green leaves, or something green, as effectively as fresh meat in by means of the door of the living quarters. These items have to be brought in by means of the door of the guest area. When pots and pans are put on the oven, the handles have to lie in the identical direction as that utilised by people when they sleep. It is also a taboo to have the manage toward the entrance door, simply because that is the path dead people is placed prior to burying. Nonetheless, when somebody dies, all of these taboos are offered up, and factors are accomplished other way about. Calendar: The Laha use Thai calendar.

Education: In former instances, the Laha studied Thai language.
Artistic activities: The Laha sings and writes poems very properly in Thai language. Their two particular dances are the linga dance and the sword dance.