Lalo People of Yunnan

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 31 May 2021 [unknown]
Location: Southwestern Yun-nan Province, Chinamap
Surname/tag: Lalo
Profile manager: Tom Tweddell private message [send private message]
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The Lalo (also known as Tuli) are an indigenous people group of western Yunnan, China, They are officially classified as part of the Yi nationality, which includes the Lolo, Lalo, Lahu, Lisu, Nosu, Akha peoples speaking related Tibeto-Burman languages. Lalo are often called "Western Yi". Weishan County (formerly Meng-hua) in Dali (Ta-li) Prefecture is considered by many as the traditional homeland of the Lalo. When speaking Chinese, the ethnic category is always referred to as ‘Yi’, as Lalo and Lolo may be considered degrading.

Lalo typically live on the mountain slopes on both sides of the Mekong River, and its tributary the Yangbi, which flows from Er Hai Lake at Dali/Xia-guan City, in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in the north. Their homeland extends southwest to Chang-ning, south to Shun-ning and Yun-hsien, southeast to Jing-dung, with Nan-jien on the Red River and Mi-du on the east. The lowland elevations are about 3000 and peaks to 10,000+ feet. Lalo tend live at higher altitudes than their Bai or Han neighbors, especially along the Ai-lao and Wu-liang mountain ranges.

During the Eastern Han Dynasty, in 76AD, people from Wei-shan County aided the Han in their defense of Dali’s Yunlong and Yongping counties against the Ailao, a tribe from the Bao-shan region (YNYZDC 1986). This gives reason to think that the ancestors of the Lalo and other related groups have been in the Weishan area for over two thousand years!

Much of the above is from linguistic research of Australian National University.

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