Introduction / History
A small number of ethnic Tamoy people, perhaps about 500, live in a few villages within the Viangphoukha District in Luang Namtha Province. Most sources have never listed the Tamoy people in Laos, even though they are known as a distinct ethnicity by themselves and their neighbors.
Laurent Chazee has simply stated that the Tamoy "inhabit less than 15 villages"
The Tamoy speak a Mon-Khmer language. Although it has yet to be studied at depth, it may be related to Khmu and Lamet.
The Tamoy, along with almost every other Mon-Khmer group in Laos, are animists. Theravada Buddhism has also influenced them, although no temples or Buddhist altars are seen in the Tamoy villages.
The Tamoy are an unreached people group with no known Christians. Although Protestant missionaries first encountered Mon-Khmer groups in this part of Laos in the 1890's, no record exists of the Tamoy ever having been specifically focused on with the Gospel. This is tragic for the Tamoy, as history shows how Mon-Khmer groups often prove highly receptive to Christianity. When Daniel McGilvary visited a Khmu group in this part of Laos in 1898, he reported, "Nan Tit [a Khmu man] read the books I gave him, had prepared the way for me by teaching the substance of them to his neighbors, and now would assist me in teaching his tribe. With him as interpreter and assistant we visited a number of contiguous villages, holding night conferences, at which the whole population of the village would be present. Everywhere a wonderfully ready response was given to the Gospel. They, too, were oppressed by the dread of spirits, and welcomed deliverance from their bondage. They would accept the Gospel, but, naturally, referred us on to the Pia [village leader].... He had heard the rumor that our religion could overcome the spirits and save from sin.... He had heard of the Jesus-religion, and wished to embrace it.... By Saturday night every family in the place had made the same decision, and would begin by keeping their first Sabbath next day.... It was a great day, just the like of which I had never seen. It settled the decision of hundreds, possibly of thousands, of people."
* Pray the Tamoy would also put their trust in Christ and be liberated from the fear of spirit worship.
* Pray the Holy Spirit would prompt the Tamoy to search for the Truth.
* Ask the Lord to make the Tamoy known for their Christlikeness and dedication to God.
|Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted © Used with permission|