Kiorr in Laos

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Map Source:  People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Kiorr
Country: Laos
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,000
World Population: 5,000
Primary Language: Kiorr
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.60 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kiorr people were driven out of their habitats by the invaders, dispersed and split into the isolated groups they are today. Ethno-historian James Olson, who calls the Angku in China by the name K 'ala, explains, "More than two thousand years ago, Han expansion reached K 'ala [Angku] country. By the Tang dynasty of the seventh and eighth centuries, [Angku people] had begun to distinguish themselves ethnically from surrounding peoples, acquiring a sense of group identity based on language and religion. During the centuries of the Tang dynasty, they found themselves under the political domination of the Nanzhao Kingdom. The Dai Kingdom controlled them during the Song dynasty from the tenth to thirteenth centuries."

Linguist Frank Proschan tells us that the Angku in Laos are also known as the Kiorr. Unspecified smaller numbers of them may also live in Thailand.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Angku women are fond of chewing betel nut, which blackens their teeth and gums. Stained teeth are considered a mark of beauty among Angku women. Since the betel juice only stains temporarily, some women use black dye to artificially stain their teeth.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Angku, like their Bulang counterparts, are staunch followers of Theravada Buddhism. Angku life revolves around the local temple. Traditionally all Angku boys become novice monks and live in the temple until they are 12 years old. The Angku obey the three tenets of Buddhism: practicing self-discipline, teaching and discussing doctrine. Buddhist temples are found in most Angku villages.

What Are Their Needs?

Few Angku have ever been exposed to the gospel. Their villages are away from the mainstream of travellers; therefore, it takes a specific effort to make contact with the Angku. So far, the few Christian workers who have labored in the region have preferred to target the larger minority groups, leaving the Angku without any witness or church. The nearest Christian community to the Angku are the Tai Lu and Han Chinese Christians living in Jinghong. There are no Scriptures or ministry tools available in the Angku language.

Prayer Points

Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Angku communities.

Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Angku.

Pray for the Angku people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.

Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Angku people to change their society from within.

Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.


Text Source:   Joshua Project