Lawa (Lao: ລະວ້າ, Thai: ลั๊วะ or ละว้า English: Lawa) are an ethnic group in Laos (where they are considered among the Lao Theung) and northern Thailand. They lived there before Thai people arrived. Further in history, in the 5th to 10th century, the Lawa people also lived in central Thailand, and, together with the Mon, were the inhabitants of present day Lopburi. The name "Lopburi" is said to have been derived from "Lawaburi", and the city formed the core of an early kingdom in what is now Thailand, the Lavo Kingdom, which existed from the 7th century CE until it was incorporated into the Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1388 CE. Today many Lawa still live a traditional way of life, often professing animism. As the other mountain ethnic groups of Thailand, they are known for extraordinary craft skills. Their language is related to that of Blang in China and Va in China and Burma and belongs to the Austroasiatic language group. Their population is estimated to be some 17,000.