Loba in Bhutan

Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Loba
Country: Bhutan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,200
World Population: 5,300
Primary Language: Lhowa
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Loba live largely in the Mustang district of Bhutan, which extends north into what would otherwise be China. Until 1952 this small group had their own Buddhist kingdom, which was established around 1380 AD.

What Are Their Lives Like?

It is common for a Loba woman to be married to several men; this practice is called polyandry. The Loba believe that if a woman has many husbands, she has less chance of becoming a vulnerable widow. This is a unique feature of the Loba, but one that is slowly diminishing. The younger Loba want to discard it, but the older generation feels it is necessary.
The Loba are primarily farmers, shepherds or merchants. They build their homes out of stone, making the roofs out of thinly chiseled stone squares. The roofs are extremely uniform and smooth, and on each corner a small square is constructed so that prayer flags may be hung there. Most houses are built close together and have no windows, only holes in the walls to protect against the powerful winds that race up the mountains. Their homes are never built toward the south because of the fierceness of these winds. Unfortunately, this is a drawback in the summertime because the houses grow very hot due to the lack of ventilation. For this reason, people often sleep on the terraces during the summer to escape the heat.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Loba are zealous believers in Tibetan Buddhism. There are many temples and monasteries throughout their territory.

What Are Their Needs?

Buddhism teaches a very different worldview than that of the Bible. It will take an act of God for them to accept biblical concepts.

Prayer Points

Pray the strongly Buddhist Loba will be given a knowledge of their sin and need for a savior.
As they hunger to know forgiveness, pray the Lord will send knowledge of his Son's death and provision for forgiveness to them.
Pray that soon there will be Loba disciples who will make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project