Tai Wang in Thailand

The Tai Wang have only been reported in Thailand
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

One of the least-known people groups in Southeast Asia is the Tai Wang. Like many tribes and ethnic groups in this part of the world, the Tai Wang in Laos and Thailand were separated by a tumultuous history. In 1843, the ancestors of the Tai Wang who live in Thailand were captured as prisoners of war by the Siamese army and taken across the Mekong River from their homeland in central Laos to their present location in Thailand. For two generations they were forced to render manual labor for the Thai authorities.

The Tai Wang share some cultural and linguistic similarities with the Phutai, but as one scholar has stated, the “languages are comparable but dissimilar. The Tai Wang speak a more distinctive Lao language variety.” Historically and socially, the Tai Wang consider themselves a separate people group, while at the same time they acknowledge their connection to the Phutai on a wider scale.

Many live in several villages in the Viraburi District of Savannakhet Province in central Laos, while others live in and around the city of Phanna Nikhom in Sakhon Nakhon Province, north-east Thailand. In fact, Tai Wang is the main ethnic group living in the town of Phanna Nikhom, which lies on national highway number 22, about an hour's drive from the Thailand-Laos border.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In the past the Tai Wang women wore a traditional black dress decorated with “several rows of colored horizontal stripes at the lower part, a long-sleeved vest buttoned with small silver coins in front and decorated with red bands along the hem. Every woman wore a heavy bracelet and a heavy silver belt.” These days the women do not wear their traditional dress on a daily basis; instead they wear a modified form of it during important festivals. At that time young Tai Wang women dress up in their best clothes in the hope of getting the attention of young men from a neighboring village.

Until the 1970s the Tai Wang were very skilled at weaving cotton clothing on their large traditional looms. These days this skill has all but disappeared, as the practical Tai Wang have found it much easier to buy the modern clothing sold in markets and shops. The economic backbone of the Tai Wang community in Thailand is agriculture. “They are well known for producing watermelon seeds, which are exported as far away as Europe and the USA. They also grow peanuts, cucumber, chilies, paprika and cotton.”


What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Tai Wang people in Laos and Thailand believe in Theravada Buddhism. They also worship a spirit known as san chao pu sae na narong which, they believe, protects their villages.


What Are Their Needs?

There are thought to be a small number of Christians among the Tai Wang. Most of this precious people group live and die without the slightest knowledge of the name of Jesus Christ.


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.


Scripture Prayers for the Tai Wang in Thailand.


References

Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tai Wang
People Name in Country Tai Wang
Population this Country 9,000
Population all Countries 9,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Angkham; Tai Wang Angkham; Tai Wang Na Yom
People ID 19254
ROP3 Code 115531
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Uttaradit provinces.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Uttaradit provinces..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Thai, Northern (9,000 speakers)
Language Code nod   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Tai Wang
Dialect Code 17423   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Thai, Northern (9,000 speakers)
Language Code nod   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Tai Wang
Dialect Code 17423   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Thai, Northern
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
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 Copyrighted © 2022  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more