Lahus are the descendants of the ancient Di-Qiang ethnic group in Northwest China and have a population of 447,600, most of whom live in Lancang Lahu Autonomous County of Yunnan Province. Lahus have no written scripts and their history and customs are passed down from generation to generation orally. Mupamipa epic, the Genesis of Lahu, has several thousand lines and is an encyclopedia of Lahu society, history and culture.
Lahu Clothes and Ornaments with Rich Historical Connotations
The clothes and ornaments of Lahu women have kept up some traits of the clothes and ornaments of the nomadic nationalities in north China. The women’s turban is about three meters in length with one end falling down towards the waist, and they wear long robes with strips of colorful cloth and shining silver bubble-shaped decorations on the collar and the edge.
Haba Festival: The Ceremony for the Moon-God
“Haba” means “moon” in Lahu language. August 15th on the lunar calendar is believed to be the birthday of the Moon-God. Throughout the night Lahus will offer new rice and fresh fruits to the moon and dance cheerfully to Lusheng instrument.
Marriage Tune of Lahus
On the wedding day, both the bride and the bridegroom will kill a pig respectively and offer half of a pig’s head to each other, which symbolizes blood relationship and harmony of marriage. The climax of a Lahu wedding is the couple’s singing in an antiphonal style the traditional “Marriage Tune”, then the guests will sing together to express their blessings and finally the couple will sing a duet to express their happiness and devotion.