Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway
Introduction / History
Approximately 2,500 Khmu Khong people live at the juncture of Houn and Beng districts in Oudomxai Province of northern Laos.
The Khmu Khong are one of at least six distinct tribes within the large Khmu minority group. The Khmu are called Ai Kok ('elder brother') by other peoples in Laos as a mark of respect. Even the Lao people acknowledge the Khmu as the original inhabitants of Laos.
The Khmu Khong share their villages with the Khmu Rok. Linguistically and culturally the Khmu Khong, Ou, Lu and Rok share many similarities, yet each group retains a distinct ethnicity. The other Khmu groups (Keun and Me) are very different.
The 1985 census put the Ou, Lu, Rok, Me, Keun, Khong, Kouene and Kongsat all under Khmu. The Bit and Nguan, however, were given their own status. The 1995 census separated the Kouene and Kongsat from the overall Khmu population.
Early missionaries believed the Khmu were strategically placed to bring the Gospel to all peoples in Laos. After a 1902 survey trip, William Clifton Dodd wrote, "Numerically the Kamu are stronger than all the rest of the Ka of the region combined, and stronger than the Tai also. They are found in the hills all the way from the Mekong up to and beyond the Black River, a zone twenty-five days travel in width. Each of these facts is a finger pointing to the strategic importance of missionary work among the Kamu. The case is still further strengthened by a canvass of Kamu characteristics. They seem to be honest and have a sense of honor. They are certainly sturdy, industrious, warm hearted, hospitable. And though without a written language, their powers of memory are said to be superior to those of their Tai neighbors."
Today there are believed to be a small number of Christians among the Khmu Khong. Between 1997 and 1999 the total number of believers among the Khmu in Laos is believed to have grown by as many as 30,000. This gives hope to modern-day missionaries that the early vision of the Khmu being used by God to take the Gospel to the more than 130 unreached people groups scattered throughout the length and width of Laos will finally be realized.
* Pray that soon every Khmu Khong family will soon hear about Jesus Christ and the Way of eternal life.
* Ask God to raise up laborers to plant churches among the Khmu Khong.
* Pray the Khmu Christians in Laos would saturate the land with the salt and light of Jesus Christ.