Moken, Salon in Thailand

Moken, Salon
Photo Source:  manothegreek 
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Moken, Salon
Country: Thailand
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,100
World Population: 6,800
Primary Language: Moken
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.30 %
Evangelicals: 0.04 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Malay
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Moken are nomadic people who live on the sea.

They have their own language which is Austronesian, a language used in South East Asia and Oceania. The Moken in Thailand can speak Thai while the Moken in Burma can speak Burmese.

In Thailand the Moken are known as Chao Ley and can be called Selung in Burma. They live in southern Thailand and Myanmar. Some live in the Surin Islands and the Phi Phi Islands of Thailand.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Moken people are experts at living off what they can find in the sea. Most of this is plant life, which they either eat or trade at markets. Some Burmese Moken have small wooden boats with a living room, bedroom and kitchen and they move about on the sea in these.

The Thai and Burmese governments have tried to get the Moken to adapt to the cultures of their countries, but it has proved difficult. With the 2004 tsunami, many of the Moken died but in some regions knowledge of the sea helped the Moken to know the tsunami was arriving and to stay alive.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Oral traditions in Moken culture: "An interesting feature of this people is their pure monotheism, the confession of one Supreme Being, whom they name Tooda, and recognize as the creator of all things. There is also among them a distinct tradition of the deluge. … After the deluge, of which the Salongs preserve a distinct and unique tradition, God came down from heaven, and assigned to the different nations and tribes of men their habitations and employments.

What Are Their Needs?

The Moken people need to find new ways to adapt to the cultures around them. They need better education for their children and reliable medical care.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Thai and Burmese Christians will give the gospel message to the Moken leading to a movement to Christ.

Pray for leaders of the Moken people in Thailand to open their communities to the ways of Christ, leading them to his abundant life.

Pray for the Lord to show his children the best ways to take Christ to the Moken people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project