In Bhutan VFA has adopted the “Layap” people group.

The Layap are a completely unreached people group that live in the far north in the Bhutanese mountains. The queen of Bhutan wrote a book “A portrait of Bhutan” in which she writes about the Layap:

“There is a legend about the origin of the Layap and especially about their unique way of dressing. It is said that the Layap originally lived in the south of Tibet in a region that sometime during the 15th century was visited by a series of catastropies. Obviously the area had come under a terrible curse. How could this terrible curse be broken?

At that time in order to break a spell of misfortune it was the normal practice to carry out a ceremony similar to a voodoo practice.  A doll image was created out of clay or bread dough, dressed in black, prepared as a scapegoat for the misfortune. The curse and misfortune would then be symbolically laid upon this doll which was then driven out of the region.

But at the time of all these catastropies the people felt that a doll could not be enough to bear the weight of such a heavy curse…. human scapegoats had to be found. The choice fell upon the entire population of one village. These unlucky persons had to be clothed in strange black costumes including the pointy hat, just like the voodoo dolls. 

They were then banned, bearing with them the curse and misfortune that had afflicted the area. The unfortunate persons wandered homeless until they came to the valley at the foot of the mountain Masagang. As they saw the beautiful area, they exclaimed “La Ya!” and decided that Laya should be the name of their new home. 

Til today the Layaps believe that they dare not lay aside their pointy hats as then the curse will fall back on their lives and villages.

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law…in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles….”!

Gal 3:13-14 NIV