Alak people


Alak people

ethnic group
group=Alak


poptime= 4,000 (2000 est.)
popplace=Laos
rels=Animism
langs=Alak
related=

The Alak or Hrlak are an Austro-Asiatic ethnic group of southern Laos, living mainly in Salavan Province. They speak the Alak language. Little is known of their history, though as a Mon-Khmer-sepaking group, their origin is presumably in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Culture

Nowadays, most Alak live in scattered villages of between ten and sixty houses, traditionally built in a circular pattern around a communal house. Houses are normally built on stilts about a metre high. The main diet and trading staple is rice, farmed with the slash-and-burn method, although small game, fish, and various plants and mushrooms provide additional food.

Religious beliefs involve a range of supernatural beings, including spirits of mountains, forests and other natural features. Most villages have a shaman who helps cure the sick and predict the future for the village. The dead are typically buried in graveyards in the forest.

References

*Gordon, Raymond G. (ed.), "Ethnologue" (fifteenth edition, online) [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=alk]
*Schliesinger, Joachim, "Ethnic Groups of Laos, vol. 2", White Lotus 2003, ISBN 9744800364


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