Laoz (Zhuang: Bouxraeuz), Liao (Chinese: 僚人) or Lao peoples (Lao: ລາວລຸ່ມ), is an ethnic cluster covering Zhuang, Buyei, Tay–Nùng and other Northern Tai language-speaking peoples. These peoples are inclined to call themselves as lao which means "person" or "venerable person".
The Lakkia are an ethnic group clustered in the Guangxi Province of China and neighboring portions of Vietnam, whose members are of Yao descent, but speak a Tai–Kadai language called Lakkia. These Yao were likely in an area dominated by Tai speakers and assimilated an early Tai–Kadai language (possibly the language of the ancestors of the Biao people).
The Lingao people are an ethnic group clustered in the Hainan Province of China who speak a Tai–Kadai language called Lincheng. They are categorized as Han Chinese under China's system of ethnic classification.
Population in China
In Southern China, people speaking Kam–Tai (Zhuang–Dong) languages are mainly found in Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Guangdong and Hainan. According to statistics from the fourth census taken in China in 1990, the total population of these groups amounted to 23,262,000. Their distribution is as follows:
Zhuang is the largest of these languages and also the largest ethnic minority in China, with a population of 15,489,630. The Zhuang live mainly in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. In addition, there are some Zhuang scattered throughout Lianshan Zhuang–Yao Autonomous County in Guangdong Province, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture in Guizhou Province and Jianghua Yao Autonomous County in Hunan Province (Zhao Jia 1994).
The Buyi people are mostly found in the south and southwest of Guizhou Province, where there are two autonomous prefectures and three autonomous counties designated for the Buyi and the Miao. There are also Buyi living in the suburban areas of Guiyang (the capital of Guizhou Province), Liupanshui District, Luoping and Maguan counties of Yunnan Province and Ningnan County of Sichuan Province. According to statistics collected in 1990, the total number of Buyi is 2,545,059 (Zhou Guomao et al. 1994). Although the Chinese regard them as a group separate from the Zhuang, a commonly held belief among the Buyi is that they are, indeed, Zhuang.
The Kam (Dong) have a population of 2,514,014, found mainly in counties such as Liping, Rongjiang, Congjiang, Jingping, Sanshui, Tianzhu, Jianhe, Zhenyuan, Chengong of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Yuping, Jiangkou of Tongren Prefecture in Guizhou Province, Xinhuang, Tongdao, Chengbu, Zhijiang, Jingxian, Huitong and Shining, etc. in Hunan Province; Sanjiang, Longsheng, Rongshui in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Enshi Xuan'en, Xianfeng in Hubei Province (Yang Quan et al. 1994).
Hlai (Li), with a population of 1,110,900, is found mainly in the following counties and districts in Hainan Province: Ledong, Dongfang, Baisha, Lingshui, Changjiang, Baoting, Qiongzhong, Sanya and Tongzha. A few are also scattered throughout Wanning, Tunchang, Chengmai and Ding'an (Wen Mingying 1994).
Mulam (Mulao) have a population of 159,328, 80% of which lives in Luocheng Mulao Autonomous County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The rest are scattered throughout Xincheng, Yishan, Liucheng, Du'an huanjiang, Hechi, Rongshui and Rong'an, etc. in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Qin Xiaohang 1994)
Maonan have a population of 71,968, mainly living in Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous County in Guangxi Autonomous Region, while the rest are scattered throughout Hechi Nandan, Yishan and Du'an, etc. in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Che Rushan 1994). In the early 1990s, about thirty thousand T'en (Yanghuang) people in Pingtang, Huishui, Dushan in Guizhou Province identified themselves as ethnic Maonan (Zhang Min 1991).
Lin'gao, according to statistics from the early 1980s, there are about 500,000 speakers of the Lin'gao language. They live in Lin'gao, Qiongshan, Chengmai, Danxian counties and the suburban districts of Haikou city in Hainan Province, but at this stage have not been recognized as an individual ethnic group (Ni Dabai 1990).
- However, whether Lao belongs to the Lao group or Tày group is disputed.
- "The 2009 Vietnam Population and Housing Census: Completed Results". General Statistics Office of Vietnam: Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee. pp. 148–224.
- Biao at Ethnologue
- Lakkia on Ethnologue
- Lingao on Ethnologue