Thai, Northern in Thailand





Largest Religion

Main Language


When the Storm Comes

Source Create International

Introduction / History

Approximately 10,000 Tai Yuan, or Northern Tai speakers, live in several different locations in Laos. An accurate estimate on the number of Tai Yuan in Laos is difficult to gauge. The most recent estimate was made by P. B. Lafont in 1962, who stated there were between 3,000 to 5,000 Tai Yuan in Laos. The 1995 book by Laurent Chazee states the Tai Yuan live in the Houayxay and Pha-Oudom districts of Bokeo Province, near the Thai border; the Luang Namtha District of Luang Namtha Province; the Xai District of Oudomxai Province; and the Xaignabouri District of Xaignabouri Province.

More than six million Northern Tai speakers live in Thailand. The traditional center of Northern Tai culture is the city of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai was formerly the capital of the Lanna ('Million Rice-fields) Kingdom, which at the height of its power extended across north-central Thailand to include Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Lanna was finally overcome by the Siamese and politically incorporated into today's Thailand in 1895. There were many years of hostility between the kings of Lanna and Siam before the former was finally subdued. In the 1770's, Chau Prasat Tawng, the King of Siam, "laid the country waste, plundered their villages, and brought away many thousand captives to be slaves forever more. The King of Laos...was betrayed into the hands of the Siamese, arriving in Bangkok about the close of the year 1828. He here underwent cruelties of which it is a shame even to speak...He was confined in a large iron cage, exposed to the burning sun, and obliged to proclaim to everyone that the King of Siam was great and merciful, that he himself had committed a great error and deserved his present punishment. In this cage were placed with the prisoner a large mortar to pound him with, a larger boiler to boil him in, a hook to hang by, and a sword to decapitate him; also a sharp-pointed spike for him to sit on. His children were sometimes put in along with him."

The Tai Yuan traditionally have their own script, in which the Bible was translated in 1927. Few people today, however, can read it. The Jesus film was recently completed in Tai Yuan, giving hope that the unevangelized Tai Yuan in Laos may soon hear the Gospel.

Prayer Points

* Pray the Tai Yuan Jesus film would be used to evangelize many people inside Laos.
* Pray the things keeping the Tai Yuan from salvation would be cast down.
* Ask God to send Tai Yuan Christians from Thailand to reach their cousins in Laos.

Profile Source:   Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-07-27
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-06-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-06-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-06-09
People Name General Thai, Northern
People Name in Country Thai, Northern
Population in Thailand 7,122,000
World Population 7,159,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kammuang, Khon Mang, Khon Muang, Khon Myang, La Nya, Lan Na, Lanna, Lantai, Lao Yuan, Payap, Tai Nya, Tai Nyuan, Tai Wang, Tai Yuan, Western Laotian
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Thai
People Name General Thai, Northern
Ethnic Code MSY49d
People ID 12666
Country Thailand
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Maehongson, Hot, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Uttaradit, Tak provinces.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Thai, Northern (7,122,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Thai, Northern 7,122,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1867-2012)
New Testament Yes   (1914)
Complete Bible Yes
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Thai, Northern
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Northern Thai Language Film

Major Religion Percent
96.40 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.40 %
Ethnic Religions
1.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
1.00 %
Other / Small
1.20 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
7.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
4.0 %
44.0 %
Roman Catholic
45.0 %
Photo Source: Teducation   Creative Commons  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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