Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway
Introduction / History
With a population exceeding one thousand people, the Tchitcho Akha live in several communities within the mountains of Luang Namtha Province in northern Laos. They live on the border between the Sing and Long districts in Luang Namtha.
The Tchitcho Akha are considered one of the most distinct of the Akha groups in Laos. Even though the Pouly Akha are near neighbors, one researcher claims "they are different classes of ethnic groups. Pouly and Tchitcho have little in common and no contact or affinity with each other."
An Akha wedding is marked with great festivities, feasting and alcohol consumption. The wedding feast itself lasts for two days. After blessings are pronounced on the new couple, they start their new life together.
Divorce among Akha couples is unfortunately high. If the wife commits adultery, "it is felt that her husband's line has been defiled. For this reason, such conduct almost automatically results in the dissolution of the marriage, with nothing going to the woman except for the clothes she is wearing. The children remain with the father. The man who wronged her is fined, and may be forced to marry her.
If the wife appears to be sterile, the husband may 'send her away' (divorce her). The desire for continuity of the [family] line is so strong that he will soon remarry. If a wife gives birth to only girls, or if all of her children die in infancy, it may be felt that the marriage is not 'correct', and a divorce often ensues. However, a man may take a minor wife instead of resorting to divorce.... Divorced people are in a 'taboo relationship'. They must never speak to each other again. In the event of remarriage the estranged husband or wife should have nothing to do with the new partner of the former spouse."
The Tchitcho Akha are another completely unreached group in northern Laos. For generations they have tilled their fields and gone about their daily tasks, completely unaware of the presence of Christianity or the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The first evangelists to visit the Tchitcho Akha, or most of the other Akha subgroups, will be the first to introduce these precious people to their loving Maker.
* Pray God would bless and honor the first Christian effort to take the Gospel to the Tchitcho Akha.
* Pray the Name of Jesus Christ would be on the lips of all Akha in Laos.
* Pray the Akha Christians in Myan-mar and Thailand would share the Gospel with all Akha in Laos.