A language of China

Alternate Names
Kaixien, Kucong, Kutsong, Lahuna, Laku, Lohei, Moso, Muhso, Mussar, Musso, Mussuh, Namen

280,000 in China (Bradley 2007). Population total all countries: 530,350. L2 users: Some speakers of other languages use Lahu as L2 for commerce.


Southwest Yunnan Province, Simao prefecture, Lancang Lahu, Menglian Dai, Lahu, and Va autonomous counties; Lincang prefecture, Gengma Dai, and Va autonomous counties.

Language Status

4 (Educational). Language of recognized nationality: Lahu.


Na (Black Lahu, Lohei, Musser Dam, Northern Lahu), Nyi (Musse Daeng, Red Lahu, Southern Lahu), Shehleh. Standard dialect: Na. Black Lahu dialect and Lahu Shi [lhi] have difficult intelligibility. Lahu Shi and Kucong Lahupu (White Lahu dialect, in Zhenyuan County, China) are distinct.


SOV; Lü [khb] and Hani [hni] loanwords.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Blang [blr], Hani [hni], Lü [khb], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Vo Wa [wbm]. Used as L2 by Lahu Shi [lhi], Laomian [lwm], Sangkong [sgk], Shixing [sxg], Vo Wa [wbm].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 63%. Literacy rate in L2: Low in Chinese. Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1989.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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