Lakkia in China

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Lakkia
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 14,000
World Population: 14,000
Primary Language: Lakkia
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Yao-Mien
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Lakkia have been officially included as part of the Yao nationality in China. Although they are culturally similar to some Yao groups, the Lakkia speak a language from the Dong-Shui linguistic branch. Lakkia is the self-name of this people group. The Chinese call them Chashan Yao, meaning "Yao of the tea mountains." Formerly they were called Changmao Yao meaning "long-haired Yao" because they used to wear their long hair in buns. The Lakkia should not be confused with the Laka of northern Yunnan, the identically named Lakkia of Vietnam, or the Laqua in Yunnan who have also been known to call themselves Lakkia.

Acknowledged to be the original inhabitants of the Dayaoshan Mountains, they are said to have arrived in the area from Guangdong, passing through Wuzhou in Guangxi before entering their present location via Teng and Pingnan counties. It is possible the Lakkia were originally a Tai group who, after centuries of living alongside the Yao, became assimilated to the Yao culture but still retained their original language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Lakkia houses are long and deep and are approached through three or four successive gates. Inside the front gate are cattle and pigs. The living quarters are located in the rear of the house. Lakkia courting customs are simple. "At a suspension tower ... boys stand at one corner and girls at another, singing to each other. ... Through singing one looks for one's dream girl or ideal man and love songs are sung by way of courtship. When a boy and a girl come to like each other in the course of singing, they exchange bracelets or waist belts as a token of their love. The boy's family will then send a match-maker to the girl's and the two will get married on an auspicious day."

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Lakkia could be considered animists, with fewer traces of Daoism in their beliefs than in those of the four other Yao groups in the Dayaoshan Mountains.

The area was mentioned in a 1922 report: "Just north of Pingnamyun there is a large area known as the Yao Mountain district still uncharted, where a local dialect prevails of which little is known." In 1998, gospel recordings in the Xinping language were produced for the first time.

What Are Their Needs?

Without the guidance of Christ, these people are like sheep without a shepherd. They need the good shepherd in their families and communities.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.

Pray for loving workers.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.

Text Source:   Joshua Project