Thailand is home to many indigenous tribes and one such tribe is the Lisu. The tribe can be found in the northern part of Thailand and it spread across some hundred and thirty-five villages. The Lisu tribe is originally from China and it relocated to Thailand some time in the early part of the 20th century. The tribe’s main occupation is growing rice and different kinds of vegetables, and also making handicrafts. However, this was not always the case. Earlier, the Lisu were known to cultivate poppy for opium, but the Thai government took an initiative to bring an end to this and introduced the tribe to different kinds of trades and cultivation practices. Today, the Lisu also make numerous handicrafts that they sell in the adjoining villages. You can pick up great souvenirs to take home if you want to take back a piece of local culture to your country.
Visiting a Lisu village will be awe-inspiring. You will be amazed at their home. The houses are very simple and made out of bamboo. Each home has an altar to remember and honor the ancestors. The Lisu are animists and they have strong belief in spirits. They are known to perform numerous rituals to honor their dead ancestors, and spirits that they believe live in the trees, sun, moon and many other objects. In addition, the Lisu believe that each village has its own spirits that protect and guide them. It is a common practice that Lisu women are not allowed to enter into the shrines of guardian spirits.
Today, many of the Lisu villages have electricity and other modern gadgets like televisions, but the people have not forgotten their roots. They still follow their traditions and ensure the future generations also learn them. Another aspect that you will really enjoy in a Lisu village is the attire. The Lisu are known to wear colorful clothes that are mostly in blue or green. The women wear a tunic that comes up to their knees and this tunic is secured with a black belt that is broad in size. Under the tunic the women wear pants that are usually blue or green in color. In addition, the women wear quite a lot of jewelry made from silver and most of the jewelry is handmade.