The Alak ethnic group lives in southern Laos. The highest concentration of Alak is found in Xekong Province. Others are found in Saravan and Attapu provinces. Many communities in the area are difficult to visit because of lack of roads, although in one location, foreign tourists can visit an Alak village by riding elephants from Tadlo Resort. In some places the Alak have integrated with the Katu and it is difficult to tell the two groups apart.
The Alak like to arrange their palm and thatch houses in a circle around a communal house. Many work on coffee plantations that were planted by the French in the early 1900s. Others work on rubber and banana plantations.
The Alak have retained most of their customs and many women wear traditional dress. In the past, Alak women tattooed their faces, but this custom is now dying out. Alak society is traditionally matriarchal. The women lead the family, keep control of finances, and make all major decisions that affect the community.
There are several clans among the Alak, named after certain types of animals such as pigs, buffalos and chickens. These animals are considered sacred by the members of each clan, who are not allowed to eat them.
The Alak, along with the Talieng, Lavae and Katu, participate in the annual Buffalo-Sacrifice Ceremony. The Alak people also have annual festivals to honor the spirits who protect their villages. In times of sickness or calamity, or if they have a poor crop, the Alak believe they have provoked the spirits and they must hold a ceremony to find the offended deity. They boil a chicken and summon a shaman to study the liver patterns and stomachs of the chicken. In this way they are able to pinpoint the spirit that caused the disaster.
There are only a tiny number of known Christ followers among the Alak in Laos. Most Alak have never heard the gospel in a manner they can easily comprehend. There are gospel recordings in five Alak dialects. These audio tools are a great help to people wishing to take the gospel to this group. Just over a third of Alak (one-fifth of the women) are able to read.
Ask God to send his children to go to the Alak as his ambassadors.
Ask God to raise up a triumphant Alak church planting movement for the sake of his glorious name.
Pray for the Alak people to have open hearts to the wonderful grace of Jesus.
Pray winds of revival would blow through the numerous unreached Mon-Khmer groups in southern Laos.
Scripture Prayers for the Alak in Laos.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Alak|
|People Name in Country||Alak|
|Alternate Names||Alack; Hrlak; Krlak|
|Population this Country||27,000|
|Population all Countries||27,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Persecution Rank||31 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Xekong and Saravan provinces, Thateng, Lamam, Karum, Dakchung, and Saravan districts Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999|