Tai Gapong in Thailand


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

According to Joachim Schliesinger, “the ancestors of the Tai Gapong in Thailand migrated westwards from central Laos, crossed the Mekong and settled in their present location in 1844 or 1845. The reason for their migration is unclear; they may have been taken as war captives and resettled across the Mekong River by the Siamese army or migrated voluntarily.”

In their language, Gapong means “brain”—therefore the autonym of this interesting group means “Brainy Tai.” Other Tai groups call them Phutai, but although the Tai Gapong say they are distantly related to the Phutai, they are now a distinct tribe with their own customs, history and dialect. In fact, even the Phutai who live in the Tai Gapong village in Thailand consider them different.

Tai Gapong people live in Thailand’s Ban Varit in Waritchaphum District of Sakhon Nakhon Province. There are homes in Ban Varit, most of which are inhabited by Tai Gapong families, along with some ethnic Phutai and Yoy people. There is a small number in Laos.


What Are Their Lives Like?

For generations, Tai Gapong women have worn an elaborate traditional dress that sets them apart from other tribes. It consists of a skirt that falls just below the knees, “with white, red, brown and yellow horizontal stripes at its lower part, a long sleeved dark colored vest buttoned in the middle with silver coins and decorated with red bands along the hem, collar and sleeve ends. In the past, Tai Gapong women wore a silver belt, silver earrings, silver necklaces and silver anklets.


What Are Their Beliefs?

All Tai Gapong people in Thailand are Buddhists. Their spiritual beliefs in Laos is not clear. Although many Tai Gapong families in Laos claim to be Buddhists, their ceremonies and rituals are dominated by animistic practices.

In Thailand the Tai Gapong reportedly “believe in an array of spirits, such as the spirit of the village, the spirit of the house, the spirit of the water, the spirit of the tree, but their most important spiritual being is chao pu mahaesak, an angel-like being, humanized in the form of a man-like statue in his shrine. The Tai Gapong honor chao pu mahaesak annually on a specific day with flowers, whisky, rice, and other small sacrifices.”


What Are Their Needs?

Because few people are even aware of the existence of the Tai Gapong people, little or no Christian outreach has ever been conducted among them. Only a very few Tai Gapong have heard the gospel. They continue—as they have for centuries—to live their lives without the slightest knowledge of Jesus Christ or his salvation.


Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.


Scripture Prayers for the Tai Gapong in Thailand.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_peoples


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tai Gapong
People Name in Country Tai Gapong
Population this Country 2,300
Population all Countries 2,800
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Phu Tai Gapong; Tai Kapon
People ID 19263
ROP3 Code 115538
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Most inhabit a single village in Thailand, Ban Varit in Waritchaphum District of Sakhon-Nakhon Province.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Most inhabit a single village in Thailand, Ban Varit in Waritchaphum District of Sakhon-Nakhon Province..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.


Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Language unknown (2,300 speakers)
Language Code xxx   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Language unknown (2,300 speakers)
Language Code xxx   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Language unknown

Primary Language:  Language unknown

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more