The Kinn-Lai (Av.: "Speaking People") were, along with the Cuind, one of the few tribes of Avari that had entered the Utter South of Middle-earth. Both tribes were believed to be descendants of Kwindi from southern Cuivienen who had joined the Host of Tareg after the Battle of Palisor.In central Middle-earth both tribes seem to have left Tareg´s Trail and turned southwards, eventually accompanying tribes of Nelyarin descend who settled in Imaldawath, Târun or were in search for the southern Seas.
The Kinn-Lai were a relatively primitive Hill-Culture who settled in small communities within valleys or Canyons.Metalwork originally had been largely alien to them as had been buildings made of stone until they made ties to the Blacklock-Dwarves and befriended them after which they became respectable Smiths and Masons.Of all Avarin People they had the most friendly attitute towards men and lived in a close friendship to the Kirani people that resembled that of their northern Wood-elf kin with the Lake-Men.
The Kinn-lai were small by elvish standard, sometimes barely reaching 5'7' '.They mostly had swart, dark hued or ruddy skin, though more pale, ivory or silvery complexion could be found among them as well and mostly brown or black hair (with a few copper-haired exceptions) and dark or grey Eyes.
The Kinn-lai were the descendants of Kwindi from southeastern Palisor who had joined the Host of Tareg into the west, but on their way they separated themselves from their kin and moved southwards into the Haradwaith and later into the utter south, the Cuind were their close relatives and neighbours although both groups tended to stay away from each other.
The Kinn-lai spoke an Avarin dialect known as "Kinn-ëi".
- Some commentators have assumed that Kinn-Lai may be chinese-influenced.The element "Lai" also appears in Adûnaic suggesting an ancient relation.