Introduction / History
The tiny Kongsat ethnic group, who numbered 94 people (16 families) in a 1995 study,90 live in just one location in Laos. They inhabit Nam Nyon Village in Namo District of Oudomxai Province. Because their location is immediately across from the Laos-China border, it is possible more members of this ethnic group live in China, although no evidence exists that they are found anywhere else. The Kongsat themselves say they originated in Yunnan Province, China.
Alternatively, some historians believe the Kongsat were once been the same ethnic group as the Oy of Attapu Province in the extreme south of Laos. They may have been relocated to the other end of the country for some unknown reason.
The Kongsat have lived in their present location for five generations. Before that, more than 50 Kongsat families of Supko Village were wiped out by war, epidemics and illness, which forced them to abandon their village and move 8 km (5 miles) to their new settlement.
In the past, the Kongsat say they presented gifts and traditional baskets to the King of Luang Prabang, to whom they were subject.
The Kongsat have practiced Lao and Lu customs for several generations. Multilingualism in Lao, Lu and Khmu helps them to trade. They have also been culturally influenced by the Akha, Chinese and Pouhoy. One visitor said the Kongsat are "more Chinese than Lao." The Kongsat now marry with the Pouhoy, and it seems unlikely they will be able to continue as a distinct people for much longer.
There are three main annual festivals celebrated by the Kongsat village. The Celebration of the Tiger occurs on the Day of the Tiger according to the traditional 13-day calendar used by the Kongsat. The New Year is celebrated on the 7th day of the first lunar month. Other festivities take place when a baby is born or when a new house is constructed.
Throughout their long history, few or no Kongsat people have ever been exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are a completely unreached community. Their isolation and independent mind-set has created barriers to the advance of the Christian message in their midst.
* Pray God would have representatives from the Kongsat to worship Him around His throne.
* Pray the small Kongsat people group would not be forgotten by Christians.
* In Jesus' Name, break down the spiritual strongholds that have held the Kongsat captive for centuries.
|Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted © Used with permission|