Tai Bueng in Thailand

Joshua Project has identified the Tai Bueng only in Thailand






Largest Religion

Main Language



Few people have ever heard of the existence of the 5,700 Tai Bueng people of central Thailand. They live in two villages within the Phatthana Nikhom District of Lopburi Province, north of Bangkok. Ban Klok Salung is the larger of the two villages and is considered 'pure Tai Bueng'. Its approximately 5,000 residents still maintain many traditional customs. The smaller village is called Ban Manao Hwan and is home to about 600 Tai Bueng and families from other ethnic groups.


Quite simply, no one knows much about the origins of the Tai Bueng people. The name bueng means 'big', or 'great'— therefore they consider themselves the Great Tai, but they are not to be confused with the Tai Yay (Shan) people of northern Thailand and Myanmar, whose name carries the same meaning. Researcher Joachim Schliesinger points out that 'There are no known Tai Bueng communities in Laos or Vietnam, nor can any of them explain from where and how the designation derived. They insist strongly that they are Tai Bueng people distinct from other Tai groups.' Not until linguists visit the Tai Bueng and conduct extensive comparative research can an accurate picture be drawn of how the Tai Bueng language relates to other Tai varieties in Southeast Asia.

Some of the older Tai Beung people claim that their ancestors migrated to their present location in Thailand more than 200 years ago, from a place in north-eastern Laos called Muang Ou Then. They don't know why they made such a long journey, but several other groups first entered Thailand from Laos as war captives during this same period.


Unlike many small tribal groups who have largely been assimilated to Thai culture, the Tai Beung women still wear their distinctive clothes—a traditional chong kaben dress with a heavy silver belt around the waist.

Tai Beung men are keen fishermen. They live near the Pa Sak River, which has an abundant supply of fish. The Tai Beung use homemade wooden boats to go fishing and also construct traps of thinly sliced bamboo. The Thai government has constructed a dam on the river, with the result that half of the people in Ban Manao Hwan had to relocate to avoid the raised water line. Besides rice, 'sugar cane and corn are cultivated as cash crops. The Tai Beung also grow cotton, vegetables and fruits such as banana, jackfruit, melons and mangoes.'


It would be safe to assume that all Tai Beung people are Buddhists. Each of their villages has its own temple, and the people zealously observe all of the Buddhist festivals and rituals. 'The temple at Ban Manao Hwan, including its vihar, sala, bell tower and quarters for the monks, will be flooded when the Pa Sak River dam is completed; all religious relics and removable items will be relocated to a new site.'


Christianity has not made any impact among the Tai Bueng. They remain an unreached and unevangelized group without any known Christians in their midst.

Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Tai Bueng
People Name in Country Tai Bueng
Population in Thailand 6,300
World Population 6,300
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Lao Bueng, Tai Berng
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Tai Bueng
Ethnic Code MSY49z
People ID 19262
Country Thailand
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country They live in two villages within the Phatthana Nikkom District of Lopburi Province. Ban Khok Salung is the larger of the two villages, and the smaller is called Ban Manao Hwan. Also in Bua Chum in Chaibadan district of Lopburi..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004

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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)
Thai (6,300)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Thai 6,300
For Primary Language: Thai

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1834-1967)
New Testament Yes   (1843-1977)
Complete Bible Yes   (1883-2011)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Biblica Thai Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Thai Standard Version Revision Text / Printed Matter
Bible: พระคัมภีร์ภาษาไทยฉบับ KJV Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Central Thai Language Film Film / Video
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Thai Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
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 %
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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