Akeu in Laos





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Approximately 2,000 Akeu people live in two areas of the Gnot-Ou District within Phongsali Province of northern Laos.

The Akeu also live in four villages within Menghai and Jinghong counties in southern China (not far from Laos), and in northern Myanmar. A few also live in northern Thailand.

The Akeu view themselves as a completely separate ethnic group from the Akha, even though research has shown they are historically related. Indeed, the genealogy of the Akeu is identical to that of the Akha. In China, the Akeu despise being called Akha, and claim they have nothing in common with them. It appears the Akeu may have suffered some great torment or discrimination at the hands of the Akha in the past, resulting in their present separation. The Akeu language is part of the Bi-Ka branch of Tibeto-Burman, related to Kado, Enu and Biyo in China. David Bradley says, "Their speech is quite distinct from other varieties of Akha, but nearly all also speak Akha as a second dialect."

The Akeu have practiced slash-and-burn agriculture for countless gener-ations. Because of this, they are semi-nomadic, usually living in one place no more than four years before they pack up their belongings and look for new land.

The Akeu live in a very isolated world. Until recently they kept records and reminders by carving notches on wood, tying knots on rope, or by counting beans. Weddings are only permitted to take place among the Akeu between January and April each year.

The main religion of the Akeu could best be described an ancestor worship. They believe by honoring and worshiping their dead forefathers, that they can secure both a better existence for them in the next life, and ensure that their own children will help them after they have died. As most ancestral rites are conducted by the oldest son, it is vital for a Akeu to have male children. If a woman is barren, or only has girls, a Akeu man is allowed a second wife.

Phongsali Province is one of the most Gospel-neglected parts of Laos. Few people have ever heard the Name of Jesus Christ. There are no known Christians among the Akeu.

Prayer Points

* Pray God would say of the Akeu, 'They will be mine on the day I make up my treasured possession'. (Mal.3:17)
* Ask God to glorify His Name among the Akeu people.
* Pray when they hear the Gospel, the Akeu will be able to break free from their slavery to ancestor worship.

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

People Name General Akeu (Ah-ker)
People Name in Country Akeu
Population in Laos 3,100
World Population 16,000
Countries 4
Progress Scale 1.2
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 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 Phongsali province, Gnot-Ou 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)
Akeu (3,100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Akeu 3,100
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 0.05 %)
0.10 %
Ethnic Religions
99.90 %
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 %
75.0 %
Roman Catholic
25.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
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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