Akha in Laos

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 12 (10 largest shown)  Show all

Subgroup Name Population
Akha, Botche Unknown
Akha, Chapo Unknown
Akha, Eupa Unknown
Akha, Kophe Unknown
Akha, Kopien Unknown
Akha, Luma Unknown
Akha, Lylo Unknown
Akha, Nuqui Unknown
Akha, Nutchi Unknown
Akha, Oma Unknown

Introduction / History

The Luma Akha inhabit several villages in the Boun-Tai District of Phongsali Province in northern Laos. They live almost directly on the Laos-Myanmar border, near the Eupa Akha. Even though they acknowledge historical kinship with the Eupa Akha, the Luma Akha have little to do with them.

Despite their close proximity to Myanmar, it is believed that almost all of the Akha now living in Laos migrated south from China. Only one or two small groups have entered Laos from Myanmar. The area inhabited by the Luma Akha is north of the infamous Golden Triangle, where the nations of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet. The Golden Triangle has long had a reputation as one of the main drug-producing areas in the world. Today, one in ten Akha are said to be addicted to opium.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In addition to being able to recite their long genealogies, which reach back more than 60 generations, the Akha are also able to remember the migration routes their ancestors took to arrive at their present locations. "The farther back they go with their recitation of the names of forefathers and former dwelling places, the fuzzier the picture becomes. Even so, Akha from China, Burma, Thailand, and Laos, basically agree in their repetition of genealogy and migration routes. This is amazing for people who have no written language and are spread over so vast an area."

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Luma Akha are animists and ancestor worshippers. One Burmese evangelist, when he visited an Akha village in Myanmar, reported, "As we approached the village, we saw evidence that the battle we would be fighting was spiritual, not physical. Above the entrance way to the village were animal skulls and demonic symbols. There were certain altars around the perimeter of the village still fresh with blood from sacrificed dogs, goats and chickens. Dog intestines had been placed around the village in an attempt to placate the evil spirits."

Many tourists and visitors to the Akha do not realize the deep spiritual bondage to spirits they live under, which explains why thousands of Akha have embraced Christ in Thailand and Myanmar. In Laos, however, most have yet to hear.

What Are Their Needs?

The Akha people need to accept the warm embrace of the only Savior so they can enjoy spiritually meaningful lives.

Prayer Points

Pray for open roads for the flow of the gospel.

Ask God to raise up laborers to plant churches among the Akha.

Pray that the Kingdom of God would soon penetrate the Akha community.

Scripture Prayers for the Akha in Laos.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Akha
People Name in Country Akha
Pronunciation AH-kah
Alternate Names Ada; Ahka; Aini; Aka; Ak'a; Ekaw; Guoke; Hà Nhì; Ikaw; Ikho; Ikor; Jeu-g'oe; Kaw; Khako; Ko; Ko Phen; Lou Ma; Yani
Population this Country 123,000
Population all Countries 687,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 10223
ROP3 Code 100185
ROP25 Code 300169
ROP25 Name Akha
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Group Akha
Ethnic Code MSY50i
Total Subgroups 12
  Akha, Botche 0
  Akha, Chapo 0
  Akha, Eupa 0
  Akha, Kophe 0
  Akha, Kopien 0
  Akha, Luma 0
  Akha, Lylo 0
  Akha, Nuqui 0
  Akha, Nutchi 0
  Akha, Oma 0
Country Laos
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Phongsali and Luang Namtha provinces.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Laos
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Phongsali and Luang Namtha provinces..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
35.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
62.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Akha (123,000 speakers)
Language Code ahk   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Akha (123,000 speakers)
Language Code ahk   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Akha
Photo Source Arian Zwegers - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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