Si La

Si La

About Si La

The Si La (also Sila) are an ethnic group of about 1,800 people living in northern Laos and another 600 living in the Lai Chau province of northwestern Vietnam. The Si La people speak a Tibeto-Burman language closely related to Hani (Edmondson 2002). Their primary occupation is the cultivation of cereals, augmented by hunting and foraging. One of the most distinctive Si La customs is tooth painting: men traditionally painted their teeth red, while women painted theirs black. The custom is increasingly uncommon among the younger generation.

Contributions by Stevey7788, Badagnani, and Darwinek.