Danu in Myanmar (Burma)

The Danu have only been reported in Myanmar (Burma)
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Danau are an indigenous people who live in east central Myanmar near the Thai border. The Danau speak their own language, which is part of the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic family. There are no Christian resources currently available in the Danau language.

Myanmar gained its independence from Britain in 1948. Much of modern Burmese history has tragically been one of civil wars between the Burmese majority and the nation’s minority groups that includes the Shan, Karen, Lahu and Rohingya. The Burmese military launched another coup in 2021 and is currently ruling the country.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Danau make their living in agriculture and animal husbandry. Rice is their staple food. Along with rice the Danau cultivate tropical fruits, vegetables, palm trees, and cotton. Many Danau men fish the lakes and rivers of the region where the Danau live. Other men work in the logging industry. The Danau trade fish and cotton for products they cannot make themselves such as cell phones and appliances. Most villages raise chickens, pigs and goats to supplement their diets.

Danau life revolves around their villages. Each village has a shaman whose job it is to protect the Danua from evil spirits. Elders rule the villages and make judicial decisions. Some Danau young people are moving to cities in search of a better life.

Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Danau couples often have many children. Many children die before the age of ten due to the lack of access to modern medicine. It is the responsibility of adult sons to take care of their parents. When a son enters a Buddhist monastery, the village considers it a great honor.

Pindaya is home to the famous Pindaya limestone caves, overlooking the picturesque Boutaloke Lake. Inside the cavern there are more than 8,000 Buddha images—made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement—which have been put there over the centuries and arranged in such a way as to form a labyrinth throughout the various cave chambers.


What Are Their Beliefs?

An estimated 95 per cent of Danau people adhere to Theravada Buddhism, mixed with spirit worship and folk religion. The village shaman gives the people amulets and charms to protect them from the evil spirits who inhabit the objects of nature.

Buddhism is the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, who lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. Theravada, one of the two major branches of Buddhism, declares that by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right intentions and right actions that a Buddhist can achieve nirvana or a state of freedom and salvation.

To most Buddhists, however, these things have far less meaning than their traditional beliefs, which are usually animistic. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Buddhism allows people to mix Buddhist teachings with traditional religion.

Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday in December or January which commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.

Only a tiny fraction of the Danau claims to be followers of Jesus Christ.


What Are Their Needs?

The Danau would greatly benefit from the introduction of modern medicine. Many Danau villages do not have access to electricity. Teams of believers can bring and install solar panels. Most of all, the Danau need to hear and respond to the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can free them from their fear of evil spirits and forgive their sins.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send loving workers to the Danau of Myanmar.

Pray the small number of Danau believers would grow in the faith and share the gospel with their families and neighbors.

Pray that Christians resources especially the Bible are translated into the Danau language.

Pray that the Holy Spirit raises up a growing Danau church in this decade.


Scripture Prayers for the Danu in Myanmar (Burma).


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Danu
People Name in Country Danu
Population this Country 117,000
Population all Countries 117,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
Alternate Names
People ID 20566
ROP3 Code 116857
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Shan State, Danu self-administered zone, Ywa Ngan and Pindaya townships; Taunggyi, Yak Sauk, Ye Oo, Aung Ban, and Kalaw townships.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Shan State, Danu self-administered zone, Ywa Ngan and Pindaya townships; Taunggyi, Yak Sauk, Ye Oo, Aung Ban, and Kalaw townships..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Danu (117,000 speakers)
Language Code dnv   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Danu (117,000 speakers)
Language Code dnv   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Danu

Primary Language:  Danu

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name
Text / Printed Matter The Ancient Path
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
90.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
8.00 %
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 Anonymous 
Map Source Anonymous  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more