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The Nance Profiles of the Akha

The Nance Profiles - Caleb Project - Franchise Religion

This is a copy of what was posted on the Caleb Project Pages. It seems to accept that the postings may not be accurate. This is considered OK, What about people learning it wrong, being misled?

We feel that this information is very incorrect about the Akha and is the very mentality that white people use to destroy their culture.


"About this information... (????) Caleb Project is eager for Christians to pray intelligibly for people groups everywhere. We are a Christian organization with Christian goals, and we hope to stimulate love between all races.

Some of the profiles presented here may contain negative words, over-generalizations, or stereotypes. Much of this material is also quite dated. While we have attempted to make the best possible material available, we encourage you to evaluate what you read here, testing it against other sources. Please remember that this material was mostly written with a Christian reader in mind and could be considered offensive from a different viewpoint. Note that Caleb Project does not vouch for the accuracy or completeness of this material simply because it is posted on our site. Please consult with the original author to determine the accuracy of material listed here. If you have validated your account you should see a link to the left for you to enter new or updated material.

Please do not copy or redistribute any of these profiles without the consent of the original source as noted in each article. Click here for information about the sources of these profiles.

1997-06-27 Akha of Thailand (Bob Nance)"

This Is Typical Of The Misrepresentations Of The Akha On The Part Of Missionaries

1992-00-01 Akha of China (Bob Nance) MARC ID: nr. ALTERNATE NAMES: Aka, Ko, Ekaw, Kaw, Ak'a, Ahka, Khako, Kha Ko, Aini, Ekwa, Ikho, Ikor. SIZE OF GROUP: 150,000 in China (280,000 total). LOCATION: Southwest Yunnan and Kengtung state. Also 100,200 in Burma; 25,000 in Thailand; 5,000 in Laos. LANGUAGES: Akha. SCRIPTURE: New Testament 1968. RECORDINGS: Yes. RELIGION: Traditional Chinese; some Buddhist.

1982-03-17 Akha of China (GPD)

The following is taken from the 3/17/82 issue of GLOBAL PRAYER DIGEST Frontier Fellowship, Inc.,P.O. Box 90970, Pasadena, CA 91104


Roots of the Akha tribe are found in mountainous Yunnan in China where 60,000 continue to live, though many have migrated into Southeast Asia. They live in villages built near ridge tops in mountainous regions. They subsist on rice, maize, millet, tobacco, and other crops. Opium poppies are grown and its product sold to itinerant traders. Pigs and chickens provide protein and are crucial in the ritual sacrificial system.

When approached in a culturally sensitive way, the Akha have shown interest in Christianity. Entire villages would probably come to Christ, were the leaders convinced.

Pray that Christians would volunteer to live among the Akha and that such a people movement would take place.

1980-01-01 Akha of Thailand (Unreached Peoples '80 (Cook/Wagner))

The roots of the Akha are to be found in mountainous Yunnan in China where 60,000 continue to live. Pressured by the expansion of the Han Chinese, they have migrated into Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. Their entrance into Thailand from Burma is recent, occurring about 35 years ago.

With them, they have brought a distinctive life-style focused on villages built near ridge tops in mountainous regions. They subsist on rice, maize, millet, tobacco, and other crops grown with the slash-and-burn method. Opium poppies are grown and its product sold to itinerant traders. Pigs and chickens are not only important protein sources, but crucial in the ritual sacrificial system. Hunting and fishing also contribute meat to the diet.

Village populations vary from 200-1500. Population estimates run as high as 30,000 in Thailand with an overall Akha population of 125,000. Households are composed of a man, his wife (or wives), and married sons with their families. This extended-family living pattern means the average household numbers ten persons.

Family, and ancestors are important in Akha religious life. Village gates are ritually decorated with male and female fertility figures and carved figures representing the eight powerful spirits to warn evil spirits not to enter. The family spirits are represented by a basket kept in the house or by a sacred post. Shamans and other religious practitioners deal supernaturally with illness. Physical medical techniques center on the use of opium and bloodletting.

Their language is related to Lahu and Lisu and many Akha are bilingual or trilingual. General literacy rates are so low that scripture distribution in other than oral forms is relatively meaningless. When approached in a culturally sensitive way, they show interest in and appreciation for Christianity. Evangelism encompassing whole extended families and villages in multi-individual, mutually interdependent decisions for Christ will be the only mechanism by which the Akha will turn to Christ in large numbers. *Material from UNREACHED PEOPLES

The following is taken from 5/26/92 issue of GLOBAL PRAYER DIGEST Frontier Fellowship, Inc., P.O. Box 90970, Pasadena, CA 91104


Anger and fear struggled to dominate the Mongolian features of Seh Tah's father's face as he looked at her and the young man with whom she had recently eloped. "How can my daughter's husband be so ignorant of Akha ways?" he worried.

Seh Tah hung her head, silently asking herself, "Why didn't I tell Phon ahead of time that he must never touch the village gate when he enters the village?" but her thoughts were interrupted by her father's stern pronouncement. "Because of what you did, Phon, we will have to sacrifice a valuable pig to appease the spirits of the gate. Any man who marries an Akha girl not only agrees to join our clan but must also know about Akha ways. As you can see, our Akha village, like other Akha villages, has only one entrance, the spirit gate, which is approached from the east. It is between the village and the forest and decontaminates us from the spirit powers of the jungle. But we must never touch that gate."

Seh Tah and her family are part of the 5,000 highland Akha of northern Laos. Barrett and Schreck in Clarifying the Task state that 51,000 Akhas, who are ancestor worshippers, live in Burma and another 16,000 in Thailand. According to one reliable source, the Thai Akhas believe in a supreme being, Adoducho, who lives above the clouds and is all-seeing and ever-present. But other sources say that the Akhas have no gods, only benevolent and malicious spirits. Some Akhas believe a man's body has nine souls located in the head, mouth, heart, eyes, chest, hands, ears, back, and feet; a woman's body, however, has one more soul located in her breasts.

Lord, send someone to the Akha people that they may come to know Jesus, the gateway to everlasting life.

1992-01-01 Akha of Thailand (Bob Nance)

The following is from the publication CHRISTIAN MISSION, January 1992 Published by Christian Aid Mission, 3045 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903.


One village of the Akha tribe, long neglected with the gospel, now wants to reach 100 other Akha villages for Christ. The leaders of Bangkok Christian Student Fellowship tell how it happened.

Slowly, our little pickup growled in low gear over the tortuous mountain trail. We had traveled 14 hours over asphalt roads form Bangkok to Chiang RAi. this brought us to the northwest corner of Thailand, part of the drug trade's Golden Triangle. We wanted to stop, but the asphalt road turned to dirt. That quickly eroded into a rock-strewn trail which became a mere footpath for another three kilometers. We groaned on for what seemed an hour. Suddenly, about 200 Akha tribespeople met us with cheers and singing. They were from the village of Ho Sa, meaning "slope." Walking in front of and behind us, they beat their drums and clapped and waved their hands the last kilometer to the village. Their enthusiasm helped drive away our tiredness. The Lord refreshed us as we preached. Charles played his trumpet and Lourdes played her accordion. We made our beds on hard ground, and the air was chilly. The sweet singing of these happy Christians soothed our spirits on into the night.

The next day brought more preaching, singing and fellowship. Even though the Akhas have had no formal Christian training, the way they loved the Lord and prayed brought tears to our eyes. They have nothing to do with growing or transporting drugs.

Ho Sa village has a chapel of sticks with a leaf roof that seats only 50. The believers are constructing a building on a hill that will seat 200. How they will do it, we don't know, for it will cost about $8000 for materials, and they are a moneyless society. Getting the materials there will take another miracle.


The Akha tribe came originally form Tibet through Burma. About 40,000 of them inhabit the mountains of northern Thailand, but they have not been welcomed there.

Two years ago the Thai government tried to get the Akhas to leave. Their villages were burned and they fled to Burma. But the Burmese refused them entry. Many Akha women suffered abuse in the migration. The Akha then moved to another part of the mountain range and started other villages. Ho Sa village was spared because some of its residents had become Thai citizens.

The Akhas have been given less attention with the gospel than many other tribes in the area. The Karens, Lisus, and others have had much greater Christian effort directed at them. The Akhas, for the most part, have been neglected.

One foreign missionary group has been in contact with them for 30 years. Through that outreach, the entire Ho Sa village professed Christ. They sent someone to preach on Sunday, but the foreign group never trained the Akhas for spiritual leadership.

With one exception: the father of one of the students at our Bible institute was given three months' Bible training. Then the preaching was turned over to him. He preached for the next 20 years with no additional help. In return, the villagers gave him 100 tong buckets of rice per year. Then last January, some leaders of this 60-family Christian village heard that we trained tribals to be missionaries. They came to our headquarters and asked if we would show them how to grow as Christians. They said they had a burden to reach 100 other Akha mountain villages for Christ. The Akhas made it very clear they didn't want money or handouts. They wanted only spiritual discipleship and training. The entire church would work closely with us.

We couldn't refuse. That's why we went to them.


When we arrived, we presented each Akha family with a small plastic bag of soap, toothpaste, noodles, sardines and other treats. The people were so over- joyed with our visit that they gave us yams, melons and peanuts when we left. We didn't want to take them, for we knew these were their sustenance for the coming year, but dared not refuse them. Their women hugged Lourdes and sent us off with tears.

Five Ho Sa men are ready to leave their fields and preach the gospel to neighboring Akha villages which have never heard the Good News. They need at least $30 per month to provide for their families and ministry expenses. Others want to be trained in our Rom Phrakhun Bible school in Bangkok, but have no money to pay the expenses. Sawitree, daughter of the acting Ho Sa pastor, is already attending. Dabee, another Ho Sa villager, has studied in another Bible school and wants to advance his studies with us. Each one needs someone to provide $25 or more monthly.

Dabee has a burden to reach the Akhas living in Chiang Rai and has already opened a Student Center there for Akhas. Attendance one evening was 60. There is no other place for Chiang Rai Akhas to go to hear the gospel in their language.

We are excited to be part of God's plan for reaching every tribe for Christ. Your gifts and prayers will help your servants fulfill the Great Commission.

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