Tai Lue - Settlements

Settlements tend to be nucleated, either on raised ground surrounded by rice fields or on high ground on either side of a road or pathway. No detailed information on village size is available for Sipsongpanna as a whole, but figures are available for four villages (Chang Chai, Thung, Dorn Taen, and Thin) within easy reach of Jing Hong, from 1940 and from 1987. In 1940 the populations ranged from 106 to 195; in 1987, from 416 to 600. Houses are built on stilts, and are of bamboo or timber, often with tiled or shingled roofs. Houses are usually occupied simultaneously by three generations. Traditionally, ordinary farmers' houses were said to be built of bamboo and thatch, while those of village officials were of timber. Not all villages have temples ( wat ) today, because many were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Traditionally, each village had a piece of forest land ( dong sya ), which was sacred to the tutelary deity; hunting was prohibited there. Population pressure and acquisition of land for rubber plantations have now deprived many villages of such land.

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