Music of Thailand's ethnic cultures


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Songs of the Tiger Hunters
Traditional Music of the Lahu

Originally from Tibet, the Lahu migrated into China, the Shan states of Burma and Northern Thailand.
Legend says that the forbears of the Lahu people, who were renowned for their skill at hunting tigers, began migrating southward to lush grassland which they discovered while pursuing a red deer. To this day the Lahu have retained their reputation as fearsome hunters. There are considerable differences in the music of the two main subgroups, Red and Black. In some ways Lahu society is more egalitarian than the others and women are not discouraged from playing musical instruments. The musicians, Red and Black Lahu men and women from Northern Thai villages, play a range of free reed pipes including one with pipes up to two metres long, flutes and stringed instruments. Many are skilled in playing mouth harps, which they play in a pair simultaneously, the mouth moving effortlessly from one instrument to the other. In this album they play courting, dance and ceremonial music as well as singing traditional songs either unaccompanied or with free reed pipes or guitar.





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