Sapuan in Laos

Sapuan
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Peoples of Laos, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Sapuan
Country: Laos
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,500
World Population: 5,500
Primary Language: Sapuan
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Sapuan ethnic group live in the northern part of the Xaisetta District of Attapu Province in southern Laos. The Sapuan may also be located in northern Cambodia. A group named Tampuan lives there. It is not known if the Sapuan and Tampuan are related, or if their similar names are coincidental. The Tampuan in Cambodia now include a number of Christians.

Attapu Province has a reputation for being the most remote and cut-off part of Laos. During the rainy season, most of Attapu cannot be reached by road. Attapu has been described as "rugged, wild, scenic and difficult to get around.... Tigers aren't uncommon, and there's rumored to be either Javan or Sumatran rhino near the Cambodian border. A recently-discovered trout-like fish grows to 10 kg (22 pounds) in the Xe Kong, and the Irrawaddy dolphin makes an occasional appearance in this river and the adjoining Xe Kaman.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sapuan people live the same way as the neighboring peoples.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Sapuan are animists. Even though spirit worship has been officially banned in Laos, it is openly adhered to. Thirty-two guardian spirits known as khwan are bound to a guest of honor by white strings tied around the wrists. Each of the 32 khwan are thought to be guardians over different organs, mental and physical, in the person's body. Animists believe khwan can occasionally wander away from the owner's body, causing the person to fall sick. A ceremony is performed to call them back, upon which the person regains their health or their sanity.

What Are Their Needs?

Although there are no known Christian believers among the Sapuan in Laos, there is a gospel recording in the Sapuan language. In many places in this part of the country, the gospel has yet to make an appearance.

Prayer Points

Pray the new believers among tribal groups in Cambodia will cross the border and evangelize southern Laos.

Ask God to being godly Christians to make Sapuan disciples who will make other disciples.

Pray the Sapuan would have a burden to find the one true God and would not feel peace until they find him.

Text Source:   Joshua Project