Accounting for 24% of the whole population, Lao Theung is the second major ethnic in Laos. The community of Lao Theung lives in valleys and mountain slopes along the Mekong River.
Lao Theung (Midland People) in Laos
Lao Theung is the most multi-cultural community with more than 37 different ethnics (Mon-Khmer tribes, Khmu, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai minorities. Lao Theung’s villages are smaller than Lao Loum’s ones. Lao Theung lives on farming, hunting and gathering in the forest around the village. Unlike Loum prefer nuclear family, Lao Theung prefer extended family with parents, children, wives of married sons and grandchildren. Interestingly, Lao Theung groups follow patrilineal tradition. As the son gets married, they can live independently and separately from their parents’ houses; however, the son-in-law must live with the bride’s house for several years as a payment for bride-price. In each village, there is a ritual leader who is in charge of important rituals. Among three ethnics, Lao Theung is the most marginal in terms of society, economics and politics.