Lakkia in China

Joshua Project has identified the Lakkia only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Lakkia have been officially included as part of the Yao nationality in China. Although they are culturally similar to some Yao groups, the Lakkia speak a language from the Dong-Shui linguistic branch. Lakkia is the self-name of this people group. The Chinese call them Chashan Yao, meaning "Yao of the tea mountains." Formerly they were called Changmao Yao meaning "long-haired Yao" because they used to wear their long hair in buns. The Lakkia should not be confused with the Laka of northern Yunnan, the identically named Lakkia of Vietnam, or the Laqua in Yunnan who have also been known to call themselves Lakkia.


Acknowledged to be the original inhabitants of the Dayaoshan Mountains, they are said to have arrived in the area from Guangdong, passing through Wuzhou in Guangxi before entering their present location via Teng and Pingnan counties. It is possible the Lakkia were originally a Tai group who, after centuries of living alongside the Yao, became assimilated to the Yao culture but still retained their original language.


Lakkia houses are long and deep and are approached through three or four successive gates. Inside the front gate are cattle and pigs. The living quarters are located in the rear of the house. Lakkia courting customs are simple. "At a suspension tower ... boys stand at one corner and girls at another, singing to each other. ... Through singing one looks for one's dream girl or ideal man and love songs are sung by way of courtship. When a boy and a girl come to like each other in the course of singing, they exchange bracelets or waist belts as a token of their love. The boy's family will then send a match-maker to the girl's and the two will get married on an auspicious day."


Most Lakkia could be considered animists, with fewer traces of Daoism in their beliefs than in those of the four other Yao groups in the Dayaoshan Mountains.


The area was mentioned in a 1922 report: "Just north of Pingnamyun there is a large area known as the Yao Mountain district still uncharted, where a local dialect prevails of which little is known." In 1998, Gospel recordings in the Xinping language were produced for the first time.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Lakkia (Lah-kee-uh)
People Name in Country Lakkia
Population in China 14,000
World Population 14,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Cha Shan Yao, Chashan Yao, Lajia, Laka, Lakia, Lakja, Lakkja, Tai Laka, Tea Mountain Yao
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Lakkia (Lah-kee-uh)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 18533
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country A 1987 source lists a figure of 11,068 Lakkia people in China. The number of speakers of the Lakkia language is less than the total population. Different linguists have listed figures of 8,000, 8,900, and 9,0004 speakers. The Lakkia are located along both banks of the Jinxiu River, in the Dayaoshan (Big Yao Mountains) in Guangxi. They live in a concentrated area and are not found in any other part of China..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Lakkia (14,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lakkia 14,000
For Primary Language: Lakkia

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
96.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
4.00 %
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: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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