This is a report about the Lahu people, more precisely, the Lahu Na divisions of the several ethnic Lahuspeaking tribal groups. During the period of this report written by Harold Mason Young, most of the Lahu Na lived in northeastern Burma,in the Kengtung Shan State of Burma and the bordering province of Yunnan, China. Harold's focus on the Lahu Na arose from the unusual experience of having been born of missionary parents (1901, Kengtung, Burma) and not only growing up among the Lahu, but working with them as a missionary during his young adult years in Banna, China. Naturally Harold would learn to speak Shan and Lahu, and more important, to become united with this unique culture. Harold accumulated knowledge and appreciation for their ways as few other foreigners from the outside world would accomplish during this time of history.
Harold considered the Lahu Na as unique, and while similar to other Lahu hill people, they were distinct in their own ways. In this book he carefully details the people, their history as passed down from generation to generation, their customs, beliefs and rituals, and most notable, their wonderful knowledge of nature. Harold's report of the Lahu Na during this period of history is extraordinary as the Lahu people did not write or document any of these cultural points of interest, and the fact that he made the effort to write this book makes available to all a piece of history that is almost now lost to the modern world.
This book is not intended to be a formal work on the cultural anthropology of the Lahu people, yet considerable information has been offered here to students of disappearing cultures. It is intended that this collection will expand information that students of social sciences might seek, and if that is realized, then the efforts of publishing Harold's writing, with its detailed and sincere reporting, will have been sufficiently rewarded.
The Gordon Young Family