People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Kanay in Laos


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
900 Pacoh Ethnic Religions 9.00 % 7.00 % No No   

Kanay in Laos

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
More than 600 people belonging to the Kanay ethnic group live on both sides of the Laos-Vietnam border. In southern Laos their communities are hidden away in mountains within the Samouay District of Saravan Province.

Rare animals that inhabit this part of Laos include the elephant, gaur, banteng, langur, gibbon, Asiatic black bear, clouded leopard, tiger, and Siamese crocodile.

The Kanay live in the same area as the Kantu. The Kanay language is part of the Bru branch of the Mon-Khmer language family while Kantu is part of the Katuic branch, making mutual intelligibility impossible. The Kanay are also known as the Kado, but we prefer to avoid using that name as there is a totally-unrelated group in northern Laos and southern China also named Kado.

The Kanay observe age-old customs of dyeing their teeth and tattooing their faces. In some areas, women love to chew betel-nut, which stains their teeth black.

Traditionally, Kanay women wear their hair in a knot. For single women and girls the knot is always positioned on the left side of their head, while married women wear it on the right side. This serves as an immediate sign of a woman's marital status.

Kanay villages, called vil, consist of one or two clans, with every member having the same family name. People are forbidden to marry within their own clan or to marry their first cousins.

After engagement, a young Kanay man must meet many difficult and expensive requirements of his future bride's dowry. This may result in the family of the groom going into heavy debt for years to come. Although they are generally an impoverished people, the Kanay consider a wedding to be the greatest of occasions and no expense is spared. At the wedding it is traditional for the family of the groom to give the bride a sword.

According to a local informant, there are a small number of Kanay Christians in Laos. They have endured much persecution and hardship for their faith. In late 1998, one Kanay pastor was imprisoned by local authorities because of his zealous evangelism.

Prayer Points
* Pray God would protect the purity and zeal of the Kanay church in spite of great pressure from the authorities.
* Thank the Lord for saving a remnant in a very remote part of Laos.
* Pray the Kanay Christians in Laos would continue to share their faith with other tribes in the area.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

View Kanay in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
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:Saravan province, Samouay district
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Kanay
People Name General: Kanay
ROP3 Code: 114880
Joshua Project People ID: 18915
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 900
Population all Countries: 900
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Kanay
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Pacoh (900 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pac    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity9.00 %(Evangelical: 7.00 %)
Ethnic Religions91.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant80.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic20.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1965-1977
New Testament:
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)
Audio RecordingsSounds of Vietnam
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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

Kanay in Laos

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

Direct link: