Khmuic peoples. Khmuic peoples refers to a group of ethnic groups of Southeast Asia.
Geographic distribution The Khmuic peoples are aboriginal to Laos and surrounding areas. Most Khmuic peoples live in northern Laos and neighboring areas in Vietnam, although they can also be found in Thailand, Burma and China. Individual Khmuic ethnic groups The individual Khmuic ethnic groups are as follows: There are also the Khao and Bit peoples which were once thought to be Khmuic, although recent linguistic studies suggest they are probably Palaungic.
Khmu people. The Khmu (/kəˈmuː/; Khmu: /kʰmuʔ/; Lao: ຂະມຸ [kʰámūʔ]; Thai: ขมุ; Khơ Mú in Vietnam) are an ethnic group of Southeast Asia.
The majority (88%) live in northern Laos where they constitute one of the largest minority ethnic groups, comprising eleven percent of the total population. Alternative historical English spellings include Khamu, Kemu and Khammu, among others. The Khmu can also be found in southwest China (in the Sipsong Panna in Yunnan province), and in recent centuries have migrated to areas of Burma, Thailand and Vietnam (where they are an officially recognized ethnic group). In the People's Republic of China, however, they are not given official recognition as a separate ethnic group, and are instead placed under the broad category undistinguished ethnic groups.
The endonym "Khmu" is suspected to stem from their word kymhmuʔ meaning "people". Khmu also often refer to their ethnicity as pruʔ. Khuen people. The Khuen people are an aboriginal ethnic group of Laos.
Name Variation The Khuen have appeared in research under several different English spellings including Khuen, Kuan, Kuanhua, Kween, Khween, and Khouen. Phai people. Xinh Mul people. The Xinh Mul are an ethnic group in Vietnam and Laos.
Subgroups the Xinh Mul are divided linguistically into three subgroups: The Kháng of VietnamThe Phong-Kniang of LaosThe Puoc of Vietnam and Laos. Mal people. The Mal are an aboriginal ethnic group in Laos and Thailand.
Name Variation The Mal are also commonly referred to as Madl, Khatin, T'in, Htin, Thin, and Tin. Language The Mal speak a language also called Mal, which is a Khmuic language. The Khmuic languages are Austroasiatic. There is some debate as to whether the Khmuic languages are of the Mon–Khmer branch, but the majority opinion is that they are not. Mlabri people. The Mlabri (มลาบรี) or Mrabri are an ethnic group of Thailand and Laos, and have been called "the most interesting and least understood people in Southeast Asia". Only about 300 or fewer Mlabris remain in the world today, with some estimates as low as 100.
A hill tribe in northern Thailand along the border with Laos, they have been groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers. The group in Thailand live close to the Hmong and northern Thai. The group living in Laos live close to other ethnic groups as well. Nomenclature The name Mlabri is a Thai/Lao alteration of the word Mrabri, which appears to come from a Khmuic term "people of the forest" – in Khmu, mra means "person" and bri "forest".
Genetics Genetic analysis of the Mlabri group by Hiroki Oota and colleagues led them to observe that the mtDNA has little diversity, suggesting to them that the Mlabris were founded 500–800 years ago from very few individuals. Lifestyle The Mlabri traditionally lived a nomadic lifestyle. O Du people. The Ơ Đu are an aboriginal ethnic group in Vietnam and Laos.
Their total population is more than 570. Name variation The Ơ Đu are also commonly referred to as O'Du, O Du, Iduh, Tay Hat, Hat, and Haat. Culture The Ơ Đu subsist mainly on slash and burn agriculture and raising cattle, augmented by hunting, gathering, and weaving. Language The Ơ Đu have a language also called O'du, which is a Khmuic language. The Khmuic languages are Austro-Asiatic. There is some debate as to whether the Khmuic languages are of the Mon–Khmer branch, but the majority opinion is that they are not. Geographic distribution Population in Laos: 194 in Xiang Khoang ProvincePopulation in Vietnam: 301 in Tương Dương district of the Nghệ An province (North Central Coast region)