The Lawahilltribe are believed to be the first settlers in Northern Thailand, who were there even before the Thais. They are thought to have migrated from Cambodia
over 800 years ago.The majority reside between Hot, Mae Sariang and Mae
Hong Son. Most of them lead a traditional life and are subsistence
farmers who believe in animism although through the years many have
converted to Buddhism and Christianity.
Unmarried Lawa girls
can be identified by their bright orange and yellow beads worn around
the neck and white blouses. They also wear skirts made of cotton
patterned with horizontal stripes of blue, black yellow and pink. Once
married these bright clothes are replaced by longer dresses but the
beads are still worn.
Almost all Lawa nowadays speak Thai and many still speak their indigenous language which is closely related to the 'Wa' tribe of Burma