Tai Lue in Thailand

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

By the ninth century AD, the Tai Lue had a well-developed agricultural system. They used oxen and elephants to till the land and constructed extensive irrigation systems. The Tai Lue possess an ancient script, still used by Buddhists in Mainland Southeast Asia.

The Tai Lue are part of the official Dai nationality in China. Although the name "Tai" is said with a "t" sound, the Chinese pronounce it as "Dai." They are most many in China, but there are pockets of Tai Lue people in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. There is a small Tai Lu diaspora in the United States.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Tai Lue of Thailand are primarily farmers. They cultivate a wide variety of crops, such as rice, fruit, and vegetables, for both consumption and trade. Tai Lue villagers frequently meet with the Thai to trade meat and vegetables for necessary items such as clothing and salt.

The Tai Lue are also good fishermen and clever silver smiths. The men fabricate the famous Tai Lue swords, and the women's specialties include weaving and embroidery. Many earn a living by making reed brooms, while others work in factories as cutters and polishers of precious stones.

The Tai Lue, consider the village the most significant political unit of society. A headman leads each village, and a father leads each family. Tai Lue villages are located either on raised ground surrounded by rice fields, or on high ground on either side of a road or pathway. Their houses usually have floors made of split bamboo and straw thatched roofs.

Tai Lue men traditionally wore blue coats, dark blue bell trousers with bands of red, yellow, or white, and large white turbans. Thet are famous for their unusual and picturesque sword dances. The women wear light blue embroidered jackets that are adorned with small pieces of silver. They also wear red or scarlet skirts and turbans.

Homes contain ancestral shrines that they use during marriage ceremonies. Premarital sexual relations seem to be accepted among the Tai Lue. Once there is a marriage, the families must decide which set of parents needs their help the most.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Buddhism was introduced into Thailand in 329 B.C.; and today, most of the Tai Lue profess to be Buddhist. However, most of them have mixed elements of Buddhism with their traditional animistic beliefs (the belief that non-living objects have spirits). They often seek help through supernatural spirits and objects. Ancestor worship (praying to deceased ancestors for provision and guidance) is also common. If not appeased, their ancestral spirits cause illnesses. Families usually have small altars near their homes where they make sacrifices and offerings to the spirits. The people also believe that each village has a guardian spirit, as well as various spirits that are linked to the elements of nature.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tai Lue people need to hear about Jesus Christ, the only one who is worthy of their full devotion.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Tai Lue people to overcome fear of being punished by the spirit world so that they will be free to embrace the King of kings.

Pray for spiritual hunger that will give the Tai Lue people the willingness to give up whatever it takes to enter the Kingdom of God.

Pray for an abundant rice harvest that will help the Tai Lue people in Thailand that the Lord is both loving and all-powerful.

Pray for "persons of peace" among Tai Lue leaders that will open their communities to those who want to take Christ to them.

Scripture Prayers for the Tai Lue in Thailand.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tai Lue
People Name in Country Tai Lue
Pronunciation tie LOO
Alternate Names Dai Le; Dai Lu; Duon; Kon; Leu; Lự; Lu Ge Zi; Lu Ren; Lue; Lugepo; Nhuon; Pa Hng; Pai-I; Pai-yi; Shui Dai; Sipsongpanna Dai; Washing-Bone Miao; Xishuangbanna; Xishuangbanna Dai; Xishuangbnna Dai
Population this Country 94,000
Population all Countries 1,109,000
Total Countries 6
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 18566
ROP3 Code 114183
ROP25 Code 307851
ROP25 Name Tai Lu
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Nan and Phayao provinces; scattered in north.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Nan and Phayao provinces; scattered in north..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
79.50 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
20.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Lu (94,000 speakers)
Language Code khb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Lu (94,000 speakers)
Language Code khb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Lu

Primary Language:  Lu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1921-1932)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1933)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Lu Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Nguyễn Thanh Quang - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

Joshua Project logo    Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Contact Us   Copyright © 2024