- An ethnic minority nationality who speak languages belonging to the Tibeto-Burman group and live in Shan State, with smaller concentrations in Kachin State, around Bhamo and Myitkyina. Linguistically, the Lisus are closely related to the Akhas and Lahus. The "Black" Lisus, traditionally known for their independence from any kind of central control, live mostly in China's Yunnan Province, while "Tame" Lisus, who have adopted aspects of Chinese culture, live in northern Shan State. A small number have settled in the northernmost parts of Thailand. Traditionally, Lisu village communities are found in upland areas and practice slash-and-burn (swidden) agriculture. Many cultivate poppies and trade in opium. They are animists, with a belief in multiple, often malevolent, spirits, and also practice a form of ancestor worship.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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