Tai Man, Shan in Thailand

Tai Man, Shan
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: Ethnologue. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Tai Man, Shan
Country: Thailand
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 102,000
World Population: 4,613,600
Primary Language: Shan
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.93 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Shan
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name Man literally means "a Burmese immigrant." They are loosely affiliated with the Shan peoples, but they do not consider themselves to be a Shan subgroup. They speak a northern Tai language, which suggests they originated in southern China. The Tai peoples share similar cultures and languages.

The Tai Man lives mainly in Myanmar, but there is also a sizable population in Thailand. A tiny number live either in India or China.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Tai Man of Thailand are primarily farmers. They cultivate a wide variety of crops, such as rice, fruit, and vegetables, for both consumption and trade. Tai Man villagers frequently meet with the Thai to trade meat and vegetables for necessary items such as clothing and salt. The Tai Man are also good fishermen.

The Tai Man consider the village the most significant political unit of society. A headman leads each village, and a father leads each family. Tai Man villages are located either on raised ground surrounded by rice fields, or on high ground on either side of a road or pathway. Their houses usually have floors made of split bamboo and straw thatched roofs.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tai Man practice Theravada Buddhism mixed with animism. Colorful Buddhist temples, often built on stilts, are in the center of Tai Man villages. One can find altars and pictures of Buddha in each home.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tai Man people need to put their trust and identity in the hands of the loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Tai Man people to overcome fear of being punished by the spirit world so that they will be free to embrace the King of kings.

Pray for spiritual hunger that will give the Tai Man people the willingness to give up whatever it takes to enter the Kingdom of God.

Pray for an abundant rice harvest that will help the Tai Man people in Thailand that the Lord is both loving and all-powerful.

Pray for "persons of peace" among Tai Man leaders that will open their communities to those who want to take Christ to them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project