Akha, Kophe in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Akha, Kophe only in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Approximately 1,000 Kophe Akha people live in an unspecified part of Luang Namtha Province in northern Laos. They are one of a dozen distinct Akha groups in Laos. The various Akha groups are not merely clans of the same group, but would be better described as distinct tribes and ethnic groups of Akha. Each group has its own ethnicity and self-identity, while at the same time acknowledging a broader relationship with other branches of Akha. The main factor of kinship is a group's genealogy. Often, when Akha from different locations meet they begin to recite their respective genealogies to each other. These long recitations are committed to memory and passed from generation to generation. Among the Akha it is important for a man to be able to remember his complete genealogy, right back to the first man, Sm Mi O. More than 60 generations are now included. The fact that different Akha groups share the same early ancestors is important to them.

Akha women have a spectacular appearance, with their heavily ornamented peaked headdress. Made from materials as diverse as beaten silver, gibbon fur, beads, seeds and feathered tassels. Far from being an ornament only for festivals and tourists, the Akha women remove it only for cleaning, repair, and for washing their hair.

The Akha believe a host of spirits dwell inside and outside the village, including a spirit called the 'Lord of Land and Water'. They also believe in a supreme deity, Apoe Miyeh.

The Akha's religious philosophy, called Akhazang ('Akha-way'), permeates every aspect of their lives. Akhazang is more than a religion; it is a social, moral and spiritual code that guides day to day living from ceremonies to house-building, rice-planting and relationships with one another and with outsiders. Paul and Elaine Lewis note that Akhazang is "all embracing. Any who become Christians, or for any reason discontinue the observance of the Akha Way, are expected to leave the village."

Living in a Communist country that prohibits evangelism and persecutes Christians, the Kophe Akha have never had a chance to hear that Jesus Christ is The Way.

Prayer Points

* Pray the Kophe Akha would soon live their lives by God's Word, and not only by their own ancient laws.
* Ask God to glorify His Name among the Kophe Akha.
* Pray for every part of the Kophe Akha's culture and society to reflect the goodness of their Creator.

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

People Name General Akha, Kophe
People Name in Country Akha, Kophe
Population in Laos 0
World Population Unknown
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Akha, Kophe
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 16129
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, Phongsali provinces.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown

For Main Lanugage: Akha

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1939-1991)
New Testament Yes   (1968-1987)
Complete Bible Yes   (2001)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Akha Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture (Talking Bibles) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
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
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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