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The Lahu Hilltribe in Chiang Mai

Muser Family, Chiang Mai, ThailandTheLahu are divided into two groups; the Black Lahu form over 75 percent of the Lahu and consists of three subgroups - the Lahu Na, the Red Lahu and Shehleh Lahu. A second group is known as the Yellow Lahu.

The Thai call the Lahu "Muser" because of their skills at hunting in the forest. The Lahu are concentrated close to the Burmese border west and north of Chiang Dao and Pai.

Houses are generally built on stilts, with villages consisting of 15-30 households. Households consist of families with unmarried children and maybe a married daughter and family. The Lahu believe in the soul, a house spirit, nature spirits and a supreme being who is administered to by a priest.

Traditional clothing of the Lahu is black with bold embroidered patterns and bands of cloth for decoration.

The trims of sleeves, pockets and lapels are often decorated, with each subgroup using different colors.

However, the Lahu tend to wear ordinary clothes for everyday life, reserving their costumes for ceremonial occasions.

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