The Lu have about 3,700 inhabitants settling in two districts of Phong Tho and Sin Ho of Lai Chau province. The Lu are also called Lu, Nhuon and Duon. Many ancient vestiges are found in Dien Bien, but there are a few of Lu people living there. Lu language belongs to the Tay-Thai Group.
The Lu have engaged in farming for a long time. They know how to plough and harrow the fields, dig canals for irrigation, sow rice seeds and transplant rice, but do not do weeding and apply fertilizers. The Lu also utilize burnt-over land to grow corn, cassava, groundnut, indigo and cotton. Every family has its private garden surrounding their houses. The Lu mainly eat sticky rice with chilly. They like to drink tea and men like to smoke tobacco by water pipes.
Weaving is the most widespread sideline occupation. Each family has several looms. The Lu are very skillful in weaving, sewing and embroidery. Their garments are decorated with colorful motifs on dark indigo cloths, particularly the best suits are more beautifully decorated.
The Lu live in houses on stilts. The roof at the back of the re more beautifully decorated. house is always short, while the front roof is prolonged to cover the corridor and stairs. The entrance door faces the north- west, Each house has two kitchens, one used to cook daily meals and the other to boil water for receiving quests.
Young men and women are free to choose their partners, then propose their parents' approval for marriage. They also submit to the fortuneteller for age examination. If the fortuneteller finds that their ages are "compatible" they will prepare marriage. The husband must live with the wife's family for two or three years, then comes to live in their separate house. The children take the father's family name. All Lu boys have a common middleman Ba and the girls. Y. The Lu are friendly and faithful. A divorce is rarely taken place in a couple life, According to custom, he or she who actively sues for a divorce will be fined.
The Lu follows Buddhism, thus after the dead person was buried, the family builds a paper hearse decorated with beautiful designs and fills it with cloth, mattress, paddy and money to hold a rite to bring the dead soul to the pagoda.
The Lu like to sing khap (sung verses), tell old stories, proverbs, recite poems and play flutes, two-string violins and drums.