Tayten in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Tayten only in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

A mere 300 Tayten people live in Laos. They inhabit two villages (Ban Phia and Ban Thenngiou) in the Pakxeng District of Luang Prabang Province.

One writer, who has visited the Tayten, note that the Tayten are considered a mysterious group to their neighbors, the Khmu Ou, who call the Tayten Kha Sam Lien ('People who speak three languages'): Lao, Khmu and Tayten.

The Tayten speak a language from the Tai linguistic family, but is is far removed from other Tai varieties surrounding them. There is a Kam-Sui speaking group in southern Guizhou Province of China who call themselves Ten. The Chinese call them Yang-huang. There is a possibility this small group in Laos are related to the Ten of China, but no evidence has been cited to confirm this as fact. The name Tayten probably just means 'Ten people'.

Speculation is fueled by the fact that a number of Dong (Kam), Shui, Bouyei and Giay people migrated into Vietnam about 200 years ago to escape terrible persecution by the Chinese, who burnt thousands of minority people at the stake.

The Tayten are animists. They also worship their ancestors, especially those they consider 'close' ancestors (the last three generations). Once a year they have a ceremony where 'distant' ancestors are worshipped.

Although Christianity has been strongly opposed by the Communist authorities in Laos since 1975, occasionally glimpses of encouragement are offered to Christians that they may be able to worship freely one day. In 1982, a leading Buddhist monk even appeared to encourage people in Laos to believe in Christianity! Khamtan Thepabouali stated, "Under this [Communist] regime, everybody has a right to his own religion. But be careful. Don't believe just anything. Choose a belief that has some foundation and logic. Christianity is a good example. It has a set of Scriptures which you can study and understand."

At the present time there is no trace of Christianity among the Tayten. There are Khmu believers all around them, however, giving hope that the Tayten may find true peace in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

* Pray Khmu believers will not see the Tayten as so 'mysterious' that they neglect to share Christ with them.
* Ask God to raise up laborers to plant churches among the Tayten.
* Pray for the advancement of God's Kingdom in Laos.

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

People Name General Tayten
People Name in Country Tayten
Population in Laos 400
World Population 400
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Tayten
Ethnic Code MSY49z
People ID 16149
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 Prabang province, Pakxeng district..   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999

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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)
Language Unknown (400)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Language Unknown 400
For Primary Language: Language Unknown

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
None reported  
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
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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