Chut in Vietnam

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Thi - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: Ethnologue. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Chut
Country: Vietnam
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 7,600
World Population: 8,000
Primary Language: Chut
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name May means "beggar" in their own language, which is part of the Viet-Muong branch of Mon-Khmer. The May are part of a larger group called Chut. These days, most of the different tribes of Chut speak one language, but in the past, they spoke different dialects and fought with each other. Still today, however, each group carries its own ethnicity and customs.

The several Chut tribes in Laos are called Kha Tong Luang ('Yellow-Leaf People') by local people because they used to build temporary shelters made of banana leaves and moved on when the leaves had yellowed and withered. This has led to confusion among researchers and ethnographers because there are two other groups in Laos who practice the same custom. We have named these other two groups Mlabri and Aheu.

The Chut-May ethnic group live in a remote area along the Laos-Vietnam border in the Bouarapha District of Khammouan Province. Their location has been given as "both sides of the Vietnam-Laos border, east of Phuc Trac, southeast of the Arem."

What Are Their Lives Like?

Chut women are experts at finding edible roots, snails, vegetables, and mushrooms on the forest floor. May men hunt small game using traps and crossbows with poisoned arrows. They use dogs to track animals during large-scale hunting expeditions.

What Are Their Beliefs?

When a Chut dies, the corpse is kept inside the house for three days. Mourners present offerings of food to the soul of the deceased. After three days the corpse is placed in a grave, which is filled with soil until a mound of dirt remains above ground.

The various Chut tribes share a common belief in a Creator God. They take great care to recite their legends to future generations in stories and folk-songs called ka-tum and ka-lenh.

What Are Their Needs?

The Chut people need to embrace the God of Creation and make him central to their lives. They need to put their trust and identity in the hands of this loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.

Prayer Points

Ask God to send loving workers to the Chut in both Laos and Vietnam.
Pray for persons of peace to welcome Christ's ambassadors.
Pray the Chut may no longer be known as beggars, but as children of the King and joint-heirs with Christ.
Pray for the Lord to reveal himself to Chut people through dreams and visions.

Text Source:   Joshua Project