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Lancang History

Lancang Lahu Autonomous County (澜沧拉祜族自治县) is located in southwestern Yunnan below the Tropic of Cancer, spanning latitude 22°01'−23°16' N and longitude 99°29'−100°35' E and an area of 8,807 km2 (3,400 sq mi), making it the second-largest county in the province in terms of area. It has an international border with Burma's Shan State totaling 80.563 km (50.060 mi) in length. It is heavily mountainous and situated among the Hengduan Mountains, with the elevation ranging from 2,516 m (8,255 ft) at Mount Malihei (麻栗黑山) in Xincheng Township (新城乡) to 578 m (1,896 ft) in Yakou Township (雅口乡).

Lancang Lahu Autonomous County (simplified Chinese: 澜沧拉祜族自治县; traditional Chinese: 瀾滄拉祜族自治縣; pinyin: Láncāng lāhùzú Zìzhìxiàn) is an autonomous county under the jurisdiction of Pu'er City, in southwestern Yunnan province, China. Lancang is the same as Lan Xang, and refers to the Mekong River (known in Chinese as the Lancang) on its eastern borders and adopted by modern Laos, a Tai word meaning Million Elephants. A large portion of the population are of Lahu ethnicity, and Lahu language is one of the official languages in the county. The Aciga 阿茨戛 people of Lancang County number about 50 individuals, and are located in Yakou Township 雅口乡 and Nanxian Township 南现乡 (You 2013:134). Their original language had become extinct, and the Aciga now speak Chinese and Yi. The Aciga are currently classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Yi.


Lahu People History

Legend says that the forbears of the Lahu people, who were hunters, began migrating southward to lush grassland which they discovered while pursuing a red deer. Some scholars hold that during the Western Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, the "Kunmings," the nomadic tribe pasturing in the Erhai area in western Yunnan, might be the forbears of certain ethnic groups, including the Lahus. Then, the "Kunming" people still lived in a primitive society "without common rulers." They belonged to different clans engaged in hunting. The Lahu people once were known for their skill at hunting tigers. They roved over the lush slopes of the towering Ailao and Wuliang mountains.

In the 8th century, after the rise of the Nanzhao regime in Yunnan, the Lahu people were compelled to move south. By no later than the beginning of the 18th century they already had settled in their present-day places. Influenced by the feudal production methods of neighboring Han and Dai peoples, they turned to agriculture. With economic development, they gradually passed into a feudal system, and their life style and customs were more or less influenced by the Hans and Dais.

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