Lisu people cannot marry their relatives.
Choosing the match
In the evening Lisu women will cook the rice, and the following morning the men will come to help, and spend time teasing each other. Some couples exchange bracelets or other symbols to show they love each other, and they will keep them in their pocket near their heart. When they have to go to work in the field, the women will tell the men and all of them will wear full dress, and sing impromptu songs. Tradition explains that Lisu men are similar to the trunk of tree and branch, and the women are similar to the leaf - when the trunk feels that the leaf is threatened by someone, the trunk will protect the leaf as much as it can.
Lisu men will give money to the brides’ parents; the man’s parents give all of the money that the women’s parent asked for. For Lisu, the money given to the bride is more than other hilltribes because when they marry, the woman stays in the man’s house and does everything in their family, work hard.
When the couple agrees to marry, the men bring release for the women from her own family. His family comes to talk with hers, to ask for the hand of the girl and make decisions and agreements, such as if his parents can give the money after the couple live together. If they do not have enough money though, the women’s parents will bring their daughter back home. Her parents will set the day for marriage and will have the ceremony at their house before noon. They have the ceremony in front of an ancestor’s mantle in the house. The couple kneels in front of the ceremony leader, and the leader tells the ancestor about the new member in the family.
The ceremony leader takes the water on the mantle to the couple for prosperity and, when the ceremony is completed, he collects money from the guests to give to the couple. Water is also put in the bowl which the groom symbolically drinks for wealth. The money is then poured into the groom’s hand, which he, in turn, pours into the wrap cloth on the bride’s head. At night, they have a dancing ceremony, holding hands with each other to create a circle, while a group sings two songs. The main song in the ceremony is sung in front of the ancestor’s mantle, while the second song separates women and men who sing in response to each other.
Pretending to work in the fields
Lisu children copy the character of their parents. The kids pretend to be a family or community with a father, mother and child. They act like parents to teach the lineage about earning a livelihood. It’s like the real community, and also has a seller family which works in their own field. The kids act the same as their parents’ work in the field, such as mowing the grass using wood instead of a blade. At noon, lunch is eaten in the field, and also songs are sung responding to the next field over. In the evening, vegetables are picked from the, which the woman cooks while the man chops firewood and pounds the rice. After dinner, they all go to sleep until the following morning when a cockerel crow is made to tell people to start work again. Also, Lisu have a celebration to comfort the child, and to assume a name for the child. This game tells about the way of Lisu living and daily life.