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Inle Lake Myanmar Inle Lake Myanmar
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Lahu-Shi

The Lahu, who bear striking similarities to Native Americans, have been categorized into subgroups, such as the Lahu-Shi (yellow Lahu), Lahu-Na (black Lahu) and Lahu-Ni (red Lahu) depending on their language and the clothing worn by the women. The man and woman in these photos are Lahu-Shi.

Lahu means "Triger Hunters". The Lahu-shi live mainly in mountainous regions, 1,300m above sea level, and are renowned as skillful hunters. They are said to be originally from China's Yunnan province, and over time moved south into Myanmar, practicing slash-and-burn agriculture. The people of a Lahu-shi village in the hills near Kyaing Tong basin subsist peacefully, without electricity or running water, on a frugal diet of dry land rice, vegetables and chili.

In all, there are about 600,000 Lahu living in the Kyaing Tong region of Shan State, in China's Yunnan Province, in the northern part of Laos, and in northern Thailand. The Lahu dance in their various formal ceremonies. The dance steps change depending on the tune played by the accompanist on the "Naw" , a wind instrument made of a gourd and five bamboo pipes.