Tamoy in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Tamoy only in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


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."

Prayer Points

* 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  

People Name General Tamoy
People Name in Country Tamoy
Population in Laos 700
World Population 700
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Tamoy
Ethnic Code AUG05
People ID 15236
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 Luang Namtha province, Viangphoukha district..   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Language Unknown (700)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Language Unknown 700
For Primary Language: Language Unknown

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
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: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.