Tai Nua, Chinese Shan in Laos

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People Name: Tai Nua, Chinese Shan
Country: Laos
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 15,000
World Population: 717,000
Primary Language: Tai Nua
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tai
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Tai Nua in Laos migrated from China about 200 years ago. At that time they were assimilated with the Lao and Lu peoples. Today, their culture is only distinct in Phongali Province in Laos. They seem to be blending in with similar people groups elsewhere. To make matters more confusing, there is a larger people group by the same name in China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Where Are they Located?

This people group lives mainly in the Phongali Province of Laos. They might also live in four other provinces as well.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Each Tai Nua clan has their own totem which gives them a separate identity. These totems are based on a different sacred bird. Everyone must marry outside their clan, and even their village. Today some of them can marry people from similar people groups. Those with wealth and prestige could marry more than one wife, but this practice was banned by the Laotian government in 1985.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although they are nominally Theravada Buddhists, the Tai Nua have many aspects of animism and polytheism mixed into their beliefs. They worship a number of protective spirits both on an individual and a family basis.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tai Nua people need to come in contact with people who live out the victorious Christian life and show others how to do the same.

Prayer Points

Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Tai Nua people in Laos.
Pray for a movement of Tai Nua households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Tai Nua people to the arms of Jesus.
Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Tai Nua people.

Text Source:   Keith Carey