Name of Ethnic Group: La Ha (Phlao
Population: About 1,400 people.
Locality: Son La and Lao Cai Provinces.
Customs and Habits: The La Ha house
is built on stilts with two entrances and ladders at both ends.
Young boys and girls are free to seek their love. A young boy will
visit a young girl at her house playing a flute or a two-string violin
to try to engage her in normal conversation. After the marriage proposal,
the bridegroom lives in the bride's family house for four to eight years
before the wedding actually takes place. The bride then joins her husband's
family and takes his family name.
Old customs require that a dead person be buried along with their
money and a rice paddy. The La Ha believe there are many supernatural
forces including spirits of the forest, the water, the mist, and the
house. In each family, only the soul of the father, which will turn
into the spirit of the house after his death, is worshipped. Every year,
when the ban flowers blossom, a celebration is held by every family
to honour their parents.
Culture: The La Ha language belongs to
the Kadai Group.
Costumes: The La Ha dress the same as
the Black Thai.
Economy: The La Ha live
on slash-and-burn farming. Nowadays, many villages cultivate rice in
submerged fields and build embankments to protect the soil from erosion.
The La Ha grow cotton but do not weave.