Lhoba (Tibetan: ལྷོ་པ། lho pa, 即藏語「南方人」; Chinese: 珞巴 Luòbā) is any of a diverse amalgamation of Sino-Tibetan-speaking tribespeople living in and around Pemako, a region in southeastern Tibet including Mainling, Medog and Zayü counties of Nyingchi and Lhünzê County of Shannan, Tibet. The term is of obscure, though probably Standard Tibetan, origin and is largely promulgated by the Chinese government, which officially recognises Lhoba as one of the 56 ethnic groups in China.
Most people designated as “Lhoba” within the modern-day Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) actually refer to themselves via a diverse set of endonyms, speak different languages, and do not traditionally self-identify as a single entity. The two main tribal groups which fall under the designation “Lhoba” in the TAR are the Mishmi people (Chinese: 义都 Yìdū), who speak the Idu Mishmi language, and the speakers of the Bokar dialect of Abo Tani [or Apatani], who are found in far greater numbers inside Arunachal Pradesh, a state of modern-day India claimed by China.
Other groups identified by Chinese authorities as “Lhoba” include the Tagin people, who speak the Bangni-Tagin language.
The area nowadays inhabited by the modern Lhoba people was known in medieval texts as Lhoyü (Tibetan: ལྷོ༌ཡུལ། lho yul, Chinese: 珞隅 Luòyú). Lhoyü is now the name of an area in Tibet, while Lower Lhoyü is part of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Lhoyü came under the control of Tibet from the 7th century onwards.