Lao Lom in Thailand

Lao Lom
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Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Lao Lom
Country: Thailand
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 29,000
World Population: 29,000
Primary Language: Language unknown
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Lao
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Lao Lom were originally Lu people, who over the course of time have formed their own identity and deserve to be considered a distinct people group today. They sought refuge across the Mekong River from the Siamese army after the complete destruction of Vientiane during the time of King Anuvong's war for Lao independence against Bangkok. During the following reprisals by the Siamese army in 1828, tens of thousands of people from Vientiane and the Phuan state were taken to Siam. '

The Lao Lom people of Thailand had never been studied until Joachim Schliesinger identified and profiled them in 2001. To identify the Lao Lom as a distinct ethnic group, Schliesinger first had to unravel the confusion surrounding their name. He found that they are known by different names in different locations, depending on the name of their village. Those living in Loei Province are often called Tai Loei or Tai Lei, while those in Nong Khai are known as Tai Dan. He discovered that despite this collection of names, the people of all three Lao Lom communities share a common historical link and a common ethnolinguistic heritage.

There are Lao Lom living in three distinct areas of northern Thailand: Dan Sai District of Loei Province; Lom Kao District of Phetchabun Province; and Tha Bo District of Nong Khai Province. The Lao Lom in Nong Khai live a stone's throw from the Mekong River, while the other two groups live further inland.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In these modern times the Lao Lom women do not wear their traditional dress, but the elderly can still remember the black vest with colored threads at the hems, thick vertical white stripes and a black turban adorning their heads. The Lao Lom liked to further decorate themselves with silver jewelry around their arms, ankles and waist.

The north-east region of Thailand is the home of some of the most exotic food in the world. The Lao Lom "hunt in the fields for snakes, rats, grasshoppers, snails and other insects, and catch fish in the rivers with hooks and nets." They also raise animals such as water buffaloes, ducks, chickens and pigs for consumption.

Traditionally families required a bride price before there could be a wedding. They placed a value on each girl according to her beauty, health and family's social standing. After the wedding it is customary for the newlywed couple to move in with the bride's family.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Like most Buddhist groups in this part of Asia, the Lao Lom also believe in a complicated array of spirits. They hold ceremonies several times each year at which the community must make offerings and prayers to the guardian spirits of the village, in a bid to ensure wealth and prosperity. They believe failure to fulfill these obligations can bring disaster from the offended spirit.

What Are Their Needs?

There are no known Christian believers among the Lao Lom people.

Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project