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Lamet in Laos


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Lamet in Laos map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
23,000 Rmeet Ethnic Religions 1.00 % 0.80 % No No   

Lamet in Laos

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Introduction / History
The Lamet are among the original inhabitants of the northwestern region of Laos. They are related to the Lao Thung (the "mountainside Laotians") who live west of the Annamite Chain. The Lao Thung make up approximately one-quarter of the total population of Laos; whereas, the Lamet number only a small fraction of that number.

The Lamet live in villages that are scattered throughout the remote mountain regions of northwestern Laos. They sometimes go to the lowlands to find part-time wage-earning jobs so that they might purchase necessary items. Sadly, they are regarded as inferior by those who inhabit the lowlands, and are often referred to as kha (slaves). Some of the Lamet have accepted this status and use local myths to rationalize their position.

The Lamet speak a Mon-Khmer language, also called Lamet, that is related to Palaung and Wa. Most adult males also speak Tai Yuan.

What are their lives like?
Although Lamet villages are self-contained and self-sufficient, they are not isolated. There are very few political or social customs that extend beyond the village. Each household consists of about six to seven members. Family roles are clearly defined in the Lamet household; the male head of the household sits in village meetings and makes all decisions concerning the family.

Lamet houses are built on wooden or bamboo piles and have indoor kitchens. The village is usually divided in half by the men's common house, or meeting place, in the middle of the village.

After marriage, the newly married man lives with his wife's family and works for her father. The man then begins to make marriage payments. When all is paid, the couple either sets up their own household or moves in with the husband's father.

Differences in wealth exist in most villages, and these differences affect the function of the village. The village headmen, or pho ban, serve as a link between the Lao officials and the villagers. Some of the headmen have secured their positions simply because they were wealthy.

Among the Lamet, there is a clear line of distinction drawn between those who are wealthy and those who are not. To acquire the status of lem, or "one who is wealthy," a man must acquire wealth in the form of buffalo, chimes, and bronze drums, and be "acknowledged" by an established lem. The village lem are responsible for settling disputes and making important decisions.

The Lamet engage in farming and hunting. The farmers primarily use the "slash and burn" method of agriculture. Rice is their staple crop. Trading is done with the Lao and Thai for items such as tools, clothes, and pottery.

What are their beliefs?
The Lamet are primarily animists (believe that non-living objects have spirits). They call these spirits phi. They believe that the phi dwell everywhere and cause both good and evil. The Lamet are also involved in ancestor worship (praying to the dead for help and guidance). Ancestor spirits are important to the Lamet because they supposedly look out for the well being of the household.

The Lamet enjoy various religious celebrations and village ceremonies. These are usually conducted by the spirit practitioner, or xemia, who is responsible for making all the sacrifices to the village spirits.

What are their needs?
Communication with the Lamet is not easy because of the rough terrain and the isolation of the region in which they live. This region has also been the location of various civil and international wars. These wars have brought severe hardships to the Lamet. These precious people have a tremendous need for true, inner peace.

A written language does not exist among the Lamet. Prayer is the key to seeing them reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points
* Pray that God will send forth many laborers to work among the Lamet.
* Pray that missions organizations and churches will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Lamet.
* Pray that the few Lamet believers will rise to the challenge of taking the Gospel to their people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Laos through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Lamet who will boldly declare the Gospel.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

View Lamet in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-06-15
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Country: Laos
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:20 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Luang Namtha, Bokeo, and Oudomxai provinces
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Lamet
People Name General: Lamet
Alternate People Names:
Kha LametKhamed
ROP3 Code: 104890
Joshua Project People ID: 12649
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 23,000
Population all Countries: 23,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Lamet
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Rmeet
Language Code (ISO): lbn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.00 %(Evangelical: 0.80 %)
Ethnic Religions99.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent5.00 %
Protestant75.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic20.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2014
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Lamet in Laos

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Southeast    
      Lamet Laos    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Lamet in Laos          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Rmeet  
    All Religions                              

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