Mlabri, Yumbri in Thailand

Population

420

Christian

0.50%

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway


Introduction / History

Ironically, the smallest ethnic group in Laos happens to be one of the most interesting. Twenty-two Mlabri people, in four families, live in the Phiang District of Xaignabouri Province. Their numbers are actually down from 24 in 1985. Epidemics and a decrease of their resources has almost wiped them out. Approximately 300 Mlabri live across the border in Nan and Phrae provinces of Thailand.

Mlabri or Mabri is the self-name of this group. The Lao and Thai call them Kha Tong Luang, which means 'slaves of the Yellow Banana Leaves'. This name is given to them because of their custom of living in temporary ground-level shelters made of a wooden frame and covered with banana leaves. When the leaves wither and turn yellow the Mlabri abandon their homes and move to a different area to hunt for food. This cycle usually repeats itself every 5-15 days.

There is another group of about 300 people called Kha Tong Luang in Laos, who practice the same customs. They live in remote mountains on the Laos-Vietnam border. The Mlabri and this later group are not linguistically related, and are separated by a considerable distance. To complicate matters, the Pakatan in Laos are also labeled Kha Tong Luang by the Lao.

Mlabri men wear little clothing, except a small loin-cloth. "They are animists who believe they are not entitled to cultivate the land for themselves. Their matrilineal social organization allows serial monogamy; a Mlabri woman typically changes mates every five or six years, taking any children from the previous union with her."

After death, the corpse of a Mlabri is placed in the treetops to be devoured by birds.

The Mlabri religion is one of primitive polytheism. They believe evil spirits inhabit trees, and fear rainbows, which they believe are monsters who devour human flesh.

There has never been a known Christian among the Mlabri in either Laos or Thailand. Eugene and Mary Long, missionaries with New Tribes Mission, have worked selflessly among the Mlabri for more than 20 years in Thailand. Even though they are deeply loved by the Mlabri, none have yet made a decision to follow Christ.


Prayer Points

* Pray God would help the Mlabri break through the barriers that prevent them from following Christ.
* Ask God to bless and multiply the work of New Tribes Mission among the Mlabri in Thailand.



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

People Name General Mlabri
People Name in Country Mlabri, Yumbri
Population in Thailand 420
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Ma Ku, Mla, Mrabri, Phi Tong Luang, Toong Luang, Yellow Leaf, Yumbr, Yumbri
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Mlabri
Ethnic Code AUG03z
Country Thailand
Continent Asia
Region Southeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country Phayao, Nan, Phrae, Utaradit, Phitsanuloke, Loey, perhaps other provinces. Laos border area
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Mlabri 400
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Mlabri 400
Category Resource
Largest Religion Ethnic Religions
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
0.50%    ( Evangelical  0.00% )
Ethnic Religions
99.50%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
10.00%
Protestant
45.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
45.00%
Photo Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway © Copyrighted Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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