An ethnic minority nationality who speak languages belonging to the Tibeto-Burman group and live between the Salween (Thanlwin) and Mekong Rivers in Shan State, around Keng Tung. Linguistically the Lahus are closely related to the Akhas and Lisus. Ethnologists divide them into several subgroups: the Lahu Na (Black Lahu), Lahu Nyi (Southern Lahu), and Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu). Lahus live not only in Burma but also in China's Yunnan Province, northern Thailand (the Lahu Shehleh), and Laos. Traditionally, Lahu village communities have been located on hillsides at elevations of 1,300 meters (4,000 feet) or more, and they practice slash-and-burn (swidden) agriculture. Lahu men have a reputation as skilled hunters. Village communities tend to be strongly self-sufficient. Their religion is animist, though apparently influenced by (Tibetan) Buddhism. By 1950, American Baptist missionaries in Burma claimed 28,000 Lahu converts.
   An armed group, the Lahu National United Party/Lahu State Army, fought against the central government after 1973 but surrendered in 1984. The Lahu National Organization/Army, established in 1985, is based along the Thai-Burma border near Mae Hong Son and cooperates with Karenni (Kayah) insurgents.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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