Bo in Laos

Joshua Project has identified the Bo only in Laos






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Wurm and Hattori's 1981 linguistic reference book, The Language Atlas of the Pacific Area, listed a population of 2,000 Bo people living in central Laos. The 1996 Ethnologue, which includes a brief description of every known language in the world, places the location of the Bo as "Central Laos inland from the bend of the Mekong, Nhang River, around Nape and Lak Sao."40 This description would place the Bo in Hinboun District within the northern part of Khammouan Province.

Other recent studies, including the 1995 census and Laurent Chazee's Atlas des Ethnies et des Sous-Ethnies du Laos, do not mention the Bo either as an ethnic group or a language. More research is needed to determine if the Bo qualify as a distinct people group or not.

Intriguingly, the Bo language is listed as being part of the Viet-Muong branch of the Mon-Khmer language family. It is therefore related to Muong in Vietnam, Nguon in Laos and other varieties. These languages are believed to be distantly related to Vietnamese.

The Bo live near the east bank of the Mekong River-one of the world's greatest waterways. The Mekong rises on the Tibetan Plateau and flows through six countries. One early Western visitor vividly described his fascination with the Mekong.... "Few can regard the Me Kawng [Mekong] without feeling its peculiar fascination. That narrow streak connecting far countries with the distant ocean,-what scenes it knows, what stories it could tell! Gliding gently here, and thundering with fury there where it meets with opposition; always continuing its great work of disintegration of hard rocks and of transport of material; with infinite patience hewing down the mountain sides, and building up with them new countries in far climes where other tongues are spoken.... How few men have seen its upper waters!"

Little is known about the Bo people group, including whether or not Christianity has made an impact on them. Many people have come to Christ in Khammouan Province in recent years, but the believers have endured intense persecution from local authorities. Christians meet in fields, forests and caves, as it is not safe to meet in a building or in their own homes.

Prayer Points

* Pray the glory of God would take its rightful place among the Bo people, who were created in His image.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to draw the Bo to Christ.
* Pray the Bo would soon be a redeemed people, declaring the praises of God to other peoples trapped in darkness.

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

People Name General Bo
People Name in Country Bo
Population in Laos 4,100
World Population 4,100
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 Mon-Khmer
People Name General Bo
Ethnic Code AUG03z
People ID 18906
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 Khammouan province, Hinboun district.   Source:  Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bo (4,100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bo 4,100
For Primary Language: Bo

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Online Scripture (Talking Bibles) Audio Recordings
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: Asia Harvest   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
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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