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The Lao Krang (Thai: ลาวครั่ง, RTGS: Lao Khrang, pronounced [lāːw kʰrâŋ]; endonym: [laːw kʰaŋ]) are a sub-group of the Lao ethnic group. Also known as the Tai Krang (Thai: ไทครั่ง), they speak a dialect of the Lao language that is not too different from the modern Lao/Isan languages of Laos and Isan. The Lao Krang should not be confused with the Tai Khang (spelt the same as 'Thai Krang' in Thai) who are a closely related people inhabiting northeastern Laos.
The Lao Krang are spread out throughout Western and Central Thailand, especially the provinces of Phichit, Suphanburi, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Pathom and Nakhon Sawan.
The Lao Krang are descendants of Lao people from Luang Prabang and Houaphanh provinces who were enslaved by invading Siamese soldiers after the fall of the last remnant kingdoms of Lan Xang. The Lao Krang were settled in the rich farmlands of Central Thailand to work as farm labourers to increase food production for the army and capital. Aside from their geographic isolation, the cultural traits and language of the Lao Krang give away their ancestors' traditional homeland.
The Lao Krang are Theravada Buddhists, but also maintain older animist beliefs. Especially revered is the tutelary spirit of the village, the hu chao nei. Traditional activities include farming, as well as making a red dye from beetles used to stain textiles, hence the namesake krang or 'lac'. Traditionally, marriages were only between members of the same group.
- Hattaway, Paul. (2004). Peoples of the Buddhist World: A Christian Prayer Guide. Pasadena: William Carey Library.
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