Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway
Introduction / History
A small number of Tai Laan people (less than 500) inhabit a few villages in the Kham District of Xiangkhoang Province. Formerly, they lived in an isolated part of Laos and had little contact with other people. Now, since the construction of Highway No.6 near the Tai Laan, contact has been possible with outside people, thoughts and goods.
No additional information is available on the Tai Laan, except that they speak a Tai language (possibly similar to Tai Dam) and they are animists with a degree of Buddhist influence. In Laos, women are often the equal of men. A missionary in the region, Lillian Johnson Curtis, was surprised to find the high status most women enjoy in Lao society.... "It is doubtless due to the sacredness of married life among them that the Laos enjoy such a considerable degree of refinement, culture, and morals as they do.... When regarded in the light of centuries of heathen darkness, they have certainly attained to a high degree; a higher state than any other people have ever acquired under similar circumstances.... It is a well-known fact that... women are allowed a freedom of movement in the village and markets, keeping stalls, transacting business, holding property, and in many respects the equal of man.... The doctrines of Buddha have produced a striking, and to the lover of true civilization, a most interesting result, viz., the almost complete equality of the condition of women with that of men.... Their social position is more elevated in every respect than that of the persons of their sex in the regions where Buddhism is not the predominating creed. They may be said to be man's companions, and not their slaves."
When marriage does go wrong, "divorce is easy, and the laws are in favor of the women. A wife can tie her husband's clothes in a bundle, toss them out of the door, and bid him leave, and it is needless to add that he does not wait for a second invitation to do so."
Hopefully, with the opening up of the area to the outside world, the Gospel will also be one of the commodities imported to the Tai Laan. At this time, the Tai Laan have no awareness of the Gospel.
* Pray the Holy Spirit would direct the Gospel to the homes of the precious Tai Laan people of Laos.
* Ask God to make the Tai Laan into a people who would declare His glory.
* Pray the Tai Laan would soon be brought out of darkness into His wonderful light.