Introduction / History
For much of their early history, the Lantens were oppressed by Chinese landlords. The Lanten entered Laos over the past century in search for independence and a land of their own.
The name Lanten comes from a Chinese word meaning 'those who make dye', a name associated with their characteristic, black hand-dyed cotton clothes. The Lantens are related to the Kim Mun people of neighboring provinces, but today they differ by name, style of dress, and dialect.
Where are they located?
The Lanten live mostly in the eight villages of the Gnot-Ou District of Phongsali Province in northern Laos, bordering China and Myanmar.
What are their lives like?
The Lanten are famous for a wonderful cultural history that includes the tradition of making their own paper from roots and leaves. They also have developed a writing system inspired by ancient Chinese characters and is used to document religious texts and stories. The Lanten are artisans and produce cotton cloth, wooden masks, and silver jewelry. The Lanten dwell alongside rivers and are also known as Lao Houay, which means "stream Lao."
What are their beliefs?
The Lanten worship their ancestors and believe that the quality of the afterlife depends on how much care the eldest son gives to the spirits of his deceased parents. Therefore, sons are highly valued, and to not have one would mean hopeless wandering in the afterlife. The Lanten believe that evil people go to a version of hell, a thick forest without villages or clearings. Their beliefs are a mixture of Taoism and spirit worship. There are no known followers of Christ among the Lanten people.
What are their needs?
The Lanten do not have access to the Scripture, gospel recordings or the JESUS Film in their own language. They believe in an afterlife, but are bound by ancestor worship and the fear of hell.
* Pray for the Lanten people to have ready access to Christian materials.
* Pray that they would find spiritual rest in Jesus.
* Pray for a blessing of their creative and vocational expression through handicrafts, literature, and traditional art.
* Pray for a powerful church planting movement among the Lanten people.
Text source: Keith Carey