The Lisu people live in the mountainous areas of Thailand, south-west China and Burma. The Lisu are one of only six hill tribes in Thailand. It is believed that this tribe originated from the eastern area of Tibet.
There are approximately 28,000 Lisu in Thailand. The women tend to wear brightly coloured tunics, which are normally blue or green. The tunic features embroidery and is worn with matching blue or green long pants. Some of the elders in the tribe can be seen wearing tasselled turbans on their heads. The men typically wear loose fitting pants in either green, yellow or pink and blue open jackets.
The Lisu are farmers and grow a variety of vegetables, including rice and corn, along with domesticated livestock. These people are also known for producing some of the best opium; however, anti-opium laws in Thailand have forced the Lisu into finding new ways to make a living. The women are incredibly talented embroiderers. The men of the village make a variety of wood, rattan and bamboo crafts, including crossbows, musical instruments and animal traps.
The Lisu tribe is family-orientated and practice monogamy and commonly marry outside of the tribe. Marriage and courtship are crucial in the tribe and large dowries are common. When a daughter reaches maturity, she is given a private bedroom in the home for entertaining her guests.
The homes are located near the top of a mountain and have one door that faces the side of the mountain. The homes are often located near a water source. Because of their technological advances, most homes have indoor plumbing. They use large bamboo to pipe the water into the home.
The Lisu worship their ancestors and believe all non-human things (animals, inanimate objects and plants) possess a spiritual essence. They are very spiritual, and a family altar is located in the communal area of the home.
The Lisu people are considered some of the most beautiful people on the planet. Men and women both are equally attractive. The Lusu are a proud group of people and it shows in how they dress. Bells, tassels, silver jewellery and headdresses are often worn.
The Lisu people are one of the most fascination minority groups in Southeast Asia. Although outside influences are reaching the area, the Lisu people still hold on to their ancient beliefs.