Tai Lue Subgroups

Tai Lue (Shui Dai, Water Dai)
This is the largest and most prosperous segment of the Dai in the Sipsongpanna. The women are recognized by their very colorful, long sarongs and short blouses, long black hair done up in a fan-shaped bun on the back of the head, often with a flower or comb stuck in the bun. They live in large stilt houses clustered in beautiful villages along the edges of the valleys where they grow their paddy rice. The temple wat complex is usually situated at the highest point in the village, with the homes of the village arranged an a pattern around it and lower on the hillside. The Tai Lue language is used as the lingua franca, or trade language, by the other Dai groups in Sipsongpanna.

Countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, USA, Vietnam.
Other Names: Pai-I, Shui Pai-I, Lue, Lu, Tai Lu, Dai Lu, Ly,Xishuangbanna Dai, Sipsongpanna         Dai, Shui Dai.
Population: 614,300 in China (2000 AMO); 200,000 in Myanmar (1981 SIL); 119,100 in Laos         (1995 census); 78,000 in Thailand (1993); 4,000 in USA (1998); 3,684 in Vietnam (1989 census).
Language: Daic, Tai, Southwestern Tai, East Central, Northwest.
Dialects: None
Religion: Theravada Buddhism, Animism, Christianity
Christians: 2,000
ROPAL Code: KHB00
Status of Evangelization: 79% have never heard the Gospel.

Han Tai (Dry Land Dai)
The Han Tai are found mostly in the Meng Yang area north of the prefectural capital city of Jing Hong. They live just a little higher above the valley floor than the Tai Lue, living in houses built flat on the ground with thatched roofs. Traditional dress for the women is a black, hand-woven long sarong, a tight-fitting bright blue blouse, and a black turban. They live in row houses that open onto a central courtyard where all business, drying of rice, and hanging out of freshly dyed yarns takes place.
Countries: China
Other Names: Dry Land Dai, Mountain Dai, Han Dai.
Population: 55,500 in China (2000 AMO).
Language: Daic, Tai, Southwestern Tai, East Central, Northwest.
Dialects: None
Religion: Theravada Buddhism, Animism, Christianity.
Christians: 200
ROPAL Code: None
Status of Evangelization: 80% have never heard the Gospel.

Hua Yao Tai (Flower-waisted Dai)
The Hau Yao Tai also live just above the valley floor up in the Meng Yang area. Their individual wooden homes are built flat on the ground and are clustered in villages similar to the Tai Lue. Neither they or the Han Tai are as prosperous as the Tai Lue, since the Tai Lue dominate the lowland wet rice farming. The traditional dress for the women is a hand-woven, multiple piece black dress with a brightly colored row of trim and silver coins sewn onto the broders of sarong, blouse, and jacket. They have a more elaborate headpiece with coins decorating it and which is worn on special occasions.

Countries: China
Other Names: Hwayao Dai, Flowery Belt Dai, Flowery Waist Dai,Color Belt Dai.
Population: 70,000 in China (2000 AMO).
Language: Daic, Tai, Southwestern Tai, East Central, Northwest.
Dialects: None
Religion: Theravada Buddhism, Animism, Christianity.