Maleng in Vietnam






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The 1981 Language Atlas of the Pacific Area listed a population of 500 Maleng people in Laos. Their location is within the Nakay District of Khammouan Province, in the central part of the country. Specifically, the live near the banks of the Theun River, around Ban Si Nho.

An additional 200 speakers of Maleng live in Vietnam, where they are officially included as part of the Chut ethnic group. The Maleng are also known as the Pakatan. The Lao often call them Kha Pakatan, which carries derogatory connotations.

The Maleng customs and language is closely related, yet different from the several Chut tribes along the Lao-Vietnam border. It seems plausible to suggest that these tribes were once one group, but the ancestors of the Maleng migrated away from the mountains on the border and settled inland near the Theun River. Over time, they developed their own ethnicity and language. Outsiders today view the Maleng as "more civilized" than their relatives on the border.

The Maleng live in one of the most poverty stricken areas of Laos, despite the abundance of natural resources in the region. The economic plight of people in Laos is improving, however. In 1989 the annual income was just US$ 135 per capita. By 1998 the average person in Laos was earning US$ 370 per year.

Khammouan Province, which has a population density of only 17 people per sq. kilometer, produces tobacco, beans, sugarcane and rice as its main crops.

Most Maleng people are farmers. Since they came down from the mountains, the Maleng have been forced to learn how to plant and harvest vegetables, and how to live sedentary lives. The related Chut-speaking tribes in the mountains continue to get most of their food by hunting, fishing and foraging on the forest floor.

Christianity has made no impact on the Maleng, despite the fact there is a growing church in the eastern part of the province. Believers in the area have experienced harsh persecution for their faith, which in many cases has caused the believers to lose their boldness and to become 'secret believers'. A Gospel recording is available in Maleng.

Prayer Points

* Ask God to convict the Maleng of sin, righteousness and judgment, that they might seek Him with all their hearts.
* Pray the Gospel would spread to all parts of Khammouan Province.
* Pray the Maleng would not be forgotten by the Body of Christ. Ask God to direct workers to them.

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

People Name General Maleng
People Name in Country Maleng
Population in Vietnam 200
World Population 800
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Pakatan
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Maleng
Ethnic Code AUG03z
People ID 16144
Country Vietnam
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 16  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Ha Tinh Province, Huong Khe District, Huong Lien commune; 2 or 3 villages bordering Laos, another southeast. Malieng in Tuyen Hoa District, Thanh Hoa and Lam Hoa communes; Dan Hoa in north Quang Binh Province, Minh Hoa District.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Maleng (300)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Maleng 300
For Primary Language: Maleng

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
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: Asia Harvest   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

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