Akha, Oma in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Akha, Oma only in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

More than 1,500 Oma Akha live in Phongsali Province, the northernmost part of Laos that extends into Yunnan Province, China. Most of Phongsali used to be under China's control, before the French annexed it in 1895 and made it part of their Indo-China empire.

Several Oma villages are located in the Boun-Tai District in the southern part of the province. The Oma Akha are also found in China, where they still use that name, and possibly Myanmar.

Although the Oma Akha share similar histories and genealogies with other Akha groups in Laos, they now see themselves as a distinct branch of Akha.

There are five different Akha groups living in the Boun-Tai District of Laos. In addition to the Oma, the Eupa, Luma, Nutchi and Nuqui Akha have villages there. Despite their close proximity, the various groups have little contact with each other and do not acknowledge intimate kinship. Each group also wears a different style of dress.

The Akha language, which has five tones, is part of the Tibeto-Burman language family. All Akha children can speak their language. In fact, few can speak Lao until they are adults. Many elderly Akha have never learned to speak the national language at all.

Although none of the Akha groups have an orthography today (except for the script invented by missionaries and used exclusively in Myanmar and Thailand), the Akha have a legend of a lost book that was written on buffalo skin by the Creator. On a long journey the Akha got hungry and ate the book, and ever since have been without a written language.

The Oma Akha are almost certainly open to the Gospel message, if someone would only go and tell them. Although Christians among the Akha in Thailand, for example, number in the thousands, few have even considered the possibility of taking the Gospel to their cousins in Laos.

Fear of the Communist authorities, fear of offending the traditional Akha Way, and leaders who have little vision for evangelism and church planting in other countries mean the Akha in Laos remain untold and hell-bound.

Prayer Points

* Pray for courage and increased vision fpr Akha believers in Thailand to reach into Laos.
* Ask God to raise up an extensive church movement among the Oma.
* Pray God would direct the hearts of many Christians toward reaching the different Akha groups in Laos.

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

People Name General Akha, Oma
People Name in Country Akha, Oma
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, Oma
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 16135
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: Henk Sebregts   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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