Karen, Eastern Kayah in Thailand





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Kayah

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download
Introduction / History

The Eastern Kayah Li are a Karenic ethnic group, most closely related to Western Kayah Li. The majority of Eastern Kayah Li live in eastern Kayah State in Myanmar, while a small population migrated to Mae Hong Son Province in western Thailand about 60 years ago and established permanent villages during the last 20-40 years. The Eastern and Western Kayah Li consider themselves to be ethnically one.

The name "Kayah" is sometimes also used. However, "Kayah" may refer to not only the Kayah Li but also several related language groups that live in the same area of Myanmar. The name "Kayah Li" refers specifically to the Kayah Li, including Eastern, Western and other varieties. The Eastern Kayah Li people in Thailand are rice farmers living in ten mostly homogenous Kayah Li villages in Mae Hong Son Province. While some have adopted Buddhism or Christianity, the majority of the Eastern Kayah Li practice traditional animism.

The current vitality of the Eastern Kayah Li language in Thailand appears to be strong. Eastern Kayah Li is the primary language of the home, and children can speak only Eastern Kayah Li before entering school. While most Eastern Kayah Li adults can also speak Shan, and those who have had education can also speak Central Thai, Eastern Kayah Li people continue to speak Eastern Kayah Li as their first and best language.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Karen, Eastern Kayah
People Name in Country Karen, Eastern Kayah
Population in Thailand 18,000
World Population 27,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Eastern Kayah, Red Karen
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Karen
People Name General Karen, Eastern Kayah
Ethnic Code MSY50g
People ID 14532
Country Thailand
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Maehongson Province, east of Salween River.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kayah, Eastern (18,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kayah, Eastern 18,000
For Primary Language: Kayah, Eastern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 4.00 %)
20.00 %
Ethnic Religions
80.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
55.0 %
Roman Catholic
45.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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