Chut-Ruc in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Chut-Ruc only in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Approximately 450 Ruc people live in an extremely isolated part of Laos, along the Lao-Vietnam border in the Bouarapha District of Khammouan Province. The area is so remote that a species of deer, called saola, was only discovered by biologists in 1992 in the neighboring part of Vietnam. A saola was later captured on the Laos side of the border in 1996, enabling experts to study this previously unknown animal. Population estimates for the Ruc are hard to make, but one source in 1981 stated there were a total of only 500 Ruc people living in both Vietnam and Laos. Another source places the Ruc people in the "Vietnam border area, south of the May and north of the Sach."

The Ruc live in dense evergreen forested mountains at an altitude of around 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) above sea-level. The name Ruc means 'those who eat sago-palm flour'.

The Ruc are believed to have spoken their own dialect until recently, but now they speak a general Chut language, which serves as the lingua franca among the various tribes of Chut.

Because the Ruc do not know how to grow or weave cotton, they engage in trade with the Lao and Vietnamese for clothing. They also buy copper pots, axes and knives. In the summer, men wear only a simple loin-cloth, but in the winter they cover their torso with a kche- a poncho made from tree bark that is beaten into thin strips and sewn together.

If someone is bitten by a tiger, bear or snake the Ruc believe them to be cursed. They are not allowed to return to their village for two or three months. The person must live deep within the forest for this time and cannot be visited by friends or relatives.

Ancestor worship is not practiced in each Ruc home, as is the case with many tribes, but is only observed in the home of the village chief. The Ruc also believe in a hierarchy of spirits, of which the spirits of the earth, humans, animals and the forest are considered the most powerful.

There is no record of Christians ever having focused on the Ruc (or any of the other Chut groups) in Laos with the Gospel. They are completely unreached.

Prayer Points

* Pray that God would raise up bold laborers to take the Gospel to the Ruc, and persevere until they are reached.
* Ask God to glorify His Name among the unique Ruc people.
* Pray the Ruc would hear the Gospel in a culturally-relevant manner, that they would not view Christ as foreign.

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

People Name General Chut-Ruc
People Name in Country Chut-Ruc
Population in Laos 200
World Population 200
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chứt, Ruc
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Chut-Ruc
Ethnic Code AUG03z
People ID 14586
Country Laos
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Khammouan province, Bouarapha district.   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chut: Ruc (200)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chut: Ruc 200
For Primary Language: Chut

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
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 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Asia Harvest   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping 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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