Akeu in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



Not to be confused with the large Akha group who live in the same area of China, the Ake are a small, distinct tribe. The Chinese in 1985 listed the Ake in a list of groups "yet to be identified and classified." More than ten years later this situation remains the same. The Ake were also included on a list of groups which "need further investigation." The Ake view themselves as totally different from all other minorities even though their genealogies show they were once related to the Akha.


The Ake claim a history going back at least 20 generations. The names on the Ake ancestral tree are handed down orally from generation to generation. Until recently, slash-andburn agricultural techniques were common practice among the Ake; they relocated their villages every few years after exhausting the land. Malaria often had free rein among the Ake, decimating their population and causing havoc to entire communities.


The Ake lived in a very isolated society until recently. They kept records and reminders by carving notches on wood, tying knots on rope, or counting beans. Ake frequently intermarry with other minorities, a practice which has kept their population low. Marriages are only allowed to take place between January and April each year. Ake are frequently seen selling pans and brooms at the marketplace. Those who remain in the villages grow rice, tea, and sugarcane.


When asked what they believe, most Ake will say they do not have a religion. In practice, the majority worship their ancestors. They also attempt to live at peace with nature and the spirits which they believe control their communities. An increasing number of Ake youth are becoming atheists and do not feel the need to continue the practices of their parents.


Few Ake have ever heard the gospel, and they did not comprehend the meaning of the word when asked if they had ever heard the name of Christ. Despite their lack of education, the Ake appear quite receptive to Christianity. The nearest Christian communities to the Ake are among the Tai Lu and Han in Jinghong, but up to this point the church there has not reached out to the Ake. Most mission agencies and research ministries have never heard of the Ake, and little prayer has ever gone up to the throne of God on behalf of this completely unevangelized and needy people group.

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

People Name General Akeu (Ah-ker)
People Name in Country Akeu
Population in China 11,000
World Population 16,000
Countries 4
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Akeu (Ah-ker)
Ethnic Code MSY50z
People ID 18899
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 In 1996 researcher Dwayne Graybill counted 900 Ake, including 95 families living in three villages of Menghai County with additional Ake living in Jinghong County. Both counties are located in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, the most ethnically diverse region in all of China. Small numbers of Ake also live in Laos, Myanmar, and northern Thailand..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Akeu (11,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Akeu 11,000
For Primary Language: Akeu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2006–2012)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Akeu Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
90.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
10.00 %
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: Anonymous  
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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