Lisu Handbag

Thai Tribal Textile


This handbag is handmade by the ladies of the Lisu tribe in Northern Thailand who use their traditional skills to create clothes from reverse applique technique of folding multi-coloured fabrics into delicate stripes and patterns in a range of contrasting colours.

Straight from the source: with buying this product you directly support the Lisu tribe.

About the Lisu People

The Lisu people are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group who inhabit mountainous regions of Myanmar (Burma), southwest China, Thailand, and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Lisu tribe consists of more than 58 different clans. Most of the family names come from their work as hunters in the past. Their culture has similarities with the Yi or Nuosu (Lolo) culture. The Lisu are believed to have originated in eastern Tibet even before present Tibetans arrived in the plateau.
Agriculture is the main activity of the Lisus, supplemented by hunting and gathering.

Before some Lisu people were converted to Christianity in the early 20th century, they were all animists. Important rituals are performed by shamans, with sacrifices being offered to the spirits of the mountains.
The main Lisu festival corresponds to Chinese New Year and is celebrated with music, feasting and drinking.
In each traditional village there is a sacred woodland at the top of the village, where the sky spirit is honored with offerings. Each house has an ancestor altar at the back of the house.
Traditionally, the Lisu worship the spirits of nature, including animals like tiger, bear, monkey, snake, goat, chicken, bird, fish, mouse, plants like bamboo, hemp, pear, and also natural phenomena like fire, frost, etc.

The Lisu have their own language, which belongs to the Yi language or Nuosu branch of the Sino-Tibetan family.

The Lisus follow a calendar that separates the year into ten months based on the changes in their natural surroundings and their activities like the beginning of flower blossoming, the bird singing, gathering, harvesting, wine-making, hunting, and house-building.

Music is a vital element in the lives of the Lisu's and music is performed in family gatherings, festivals, weddings, funerals, when they go hunting, herding, planting, harvesting, and even in resolving conflicts. According to the Lisu sayings, one can’t live without songs, just like one can’t live without salt. There are mainly three types of Lisu music: folk singing, dance music and instrument music.
Lisu history is passed from one generation to the next in the form of songs. Today, these songs are so long that they can take an entire night to sing.

  • Size: 24 x 17,5 cm
  • Wash by hand seperately
  • Made of cotton
  • Includes a zipper