Profile Source: Peoples of Laos, Paul Hattaway
Introduction / History
Approximately 1,500 people belonging to the Alu ethnic group live in the extreme northern tip of Laos, near the Chinese border.
The Alu were officially counted as "Lolo" in the 1995 Lao census. "Lolo" is a generic term used to describe the various branches of Yi in China, but it is considered derogatory by these tribes today.
The area inhabited by the Alu, the Gnot-Ou District of Phongsali Province, was originally part of China, until it was annexed by the French colonialists in 1895. Chinese presence today in the area is strong, even to the point of building their own roads and businesses in the area without consultation with the Lao government.
David Bradley speculates the Alu may be the same as the Western Yi Laluo in China.34 However, the Alu also live in China and use the same name. There are about 5,500 Alu in China, speaking a language from the Southern Yi group of languages.
A visitor to the Ah-luo Festival in China related his experiences: "After passing through the arch, I saw the sacrificial altar.... A container holding one hectoliter of grain...symbolized the sacrifices to Ah-luo each year for the past twelve years. On the flat roof of the altar sat an oval pebble, a symbol of the reincarnated body of Ah-luo.... The main altar was presided over by an old shaman who was wearing a special sacrificial costume and chanting prayers from the Sutra scripture. Beside the main altar were eleven smaller altars where eleven other shamans led prayers."
There are no Christians among the Alu.
* Pray they will know Jesus Christ as the only path to God.
* Ask God to bring the pure Light of the Gospel to this part of northern Laos.
* Pray for a great awakening to occur among every tribe and ethnic group living along the Laos-China border.