Introduction / History
The 1995 Lao census listed 5,834 ethnic Singmoon people live in two different areas in central Laos. About half live within the Thathom District of the Xaisamboun Special Region, while the remainder inhabit part of the Borikhan District of Borikhamxai Province.
There is some confusion surrounding the population and identity of the Singmoon. Laurent Chazee, in his 1995 book, listed "less than 1,000" Singmoon people in Laos. It is possible the population for the Puoc, who are called Xin Mun or Sing Mun in Vietnam, may have been included in this figure. The Singmoon live a long way from the Puoc in Laos however, and are almost certainly distinct people groups. For now, until further research can be conducted to determine their true population, we have used the 1995 census figure for the Singmoon.
The Xaisamboun Special Region was carved out of Vientiane Province only recently. It is considered the most dangerous place in Laos for foreigners to travel. Rebels living in the mountains have launched armed attacks on buses. In 1994, four UN Drug Control Program workers were murdered by bandits.
If the Singmoon near the Thai border prove to be related to the Puoc on the Vietnam border, their geographic separation today could almost certainly be traced to the slavery trade which operated in Laos until a few decades ago. Families and sometimes whole communities were transplanted from one location to another. In the early 1900's, a missionary commented on the trade of human souls.... "According to the wealth and power of a chau is the number of slaves he owns; this number may vary from a dozen to even a thousand or more. These may be slave-born, or purchased, or war captives.... Many of the peasants become slaves from debt. They borrow money to pay their government taxes, and then almost inevitably fail to meet their debt, and so become the property of the chau. There is no real excuse for this, as taxes are low. Slaves can purchase their freedom, but so little money is in circulation that it is a very difficult thing to do."
Living in a harsh and violent area, the Singmoon remain spiritual captives, with little knowledge of Jesus Christ.
* Pray brave and faith-filled workers would heed the Master's call to take the Gospel to all peoples.
* Ask God to help researchers discover more information on the Singmoon.
* Pray believers in northern Laos would be called by God to take the Gospel to the unreached Singmoon.
|Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted © Used with permission|