The Lua, according to their mythology, are the original inhabitants of Thailand. Today, however, hey are regarded as ethnic minorities who inhabit this region. A study of their myths and legends reveals the importance of spirit cults, matriclans, and women's role in the discovery, production, and trade of salt. The matriclan system is also established in the longhouses and their ocial structure. However, with the entry of the Thai state, power has shifed from the Lua women to Thai men who represent the state. This has also resulted in the appropriation of women's traditional knowledge about the technology and rituals surrounding forest conservation and sustainable use of resources. Further, there has been a shift in gender relations in favor of men among the Lua people.