Name of ethnic group: Lao (Lao Boc and Lao Noi). Population: 11,611 people (Year 1999). Locality:
Concentrated in Dien Bien City (Dien Bien Province); Phong Tho and Than
Uyen districts (Lai Chau Province); Song Ma District (Son La Province).
Customs and habits The
Lao worship their ancestors and are influenced by Buddhism. The Lao
often take the family names of Lo, Luong, or Vi. Children take the
family name of their father. When a person dies, a funeral ceremony and
burial is carefully organized. Cremation occurs only if the deceased is
the chief of a "muong" or a "ban" (village).
Lao language belongs to the Tay-Thai Group. The "mo lam" (sorcerers) of
Lao culture are very good at writing and narrating ancient tales and
folksongs. Lao folklore and its legacy is heavily influenced by Thai
culture. The "lam vong" (Lao folk dance) are always performed during
festivals and ceremonies.
wear black skirts that are knotted at the front and come up to their
chests. The hems are usually decorated with two bands of embroidered
motifs in different colors. Lao men used to have a Han script and an
animal tattooed on their wrist and thighs.
Lao primarily grow rice in submerged fields using advanced techniques
such as ploughing, harrowing, and irrigating. Additional family income
is generated through weaving, blacksmithing, pottery, and silver