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March 24, 2012

Laos ethnic groups

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The Lao Government has officially recognized 49 ethnic minorities. But traditionally, Laos people are divided into three groups according to the altitude at which they live. However, you can find some ethnic groups living together on many levels.
 
The Lao Loum, or lowland Laos, is located in the plains which are also the most fertile land. They are mainly from Thailand and the Thai Shan of Myanmar. The Lao Loum are approximately 50-60% of the population and are mainly Theravada Buddhist practice and to a lesser extent animism.

The Theung Laos include many ethnic groups, majorly the Khmu in northern Laos. The Htin,people who also live in the north, are excellent in bamboo weaving, in part because of a cultural prohibition to use the metal.

The Lao Soung, or the mountainous Laos, lives on high altitude. The Hmong are the most represented. Their costumes are among the most colorful of Laos.