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Bunuo in China


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Bunuo in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
23,000 Bunu, Bu-Nao Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Bunuo in China

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The Bunuo qualify as a distinct ethno-linguistic people group, but their claims have been ignored by the Chinese authorities who have placed them in the Bunu group, which in turn is officially considered part of the Yao nationality. The Chinese call the Bunuo as Beilou Yao, which means "basket-carrying Yao". This is also the nickname given to the Dongnu people, but the Dongnu and Bunuo speak separate languages. For centuries the Chinese preferred to ignore the Bunuo; they considered the Bunuo to be ignorant barbarians living in the remote mountains. Not willing to study the ethno-linguistic composition of the Bunuo until recently, the Han gave nicknames like "Beilou Yao" to them in reference to visible attributes they saw on the Bunuo's infrequent trips down from their isolated mountain hideouts.

Most scholars suggest that the Miao, She, and Yao (including the Bunuo) minority groups today are probably from the same original race. As these peoples split geographically and separated into distinct entities, many of them suffered terrible harassment and persecution from the Chinese and other peoples. Those groups considered particularly violent and rebellious were treated the worst. The 1725 Guizhou Tongzhi, a book on the different subgroups of Miao, mentions a group called the Hei Sheng Miao. They were described as "a treacherous and aggressive people". One Miao album assures us that "about half of them were killed and the rest surrendered", while another album reassures the reader that "in 1736 they were conquered once and for all".

The Bunuo have also faced great hostility down through the centuries. This has resulted in them being a very secluded people who distrust outsiders to this day.

The religious beliefs of the Bunuo include many different rituals borrowed from Daoism and Buddhism. It is not known if the Bunuo worship Pan Hu, as do many other Bunu and Yao groups in Guangxi.

The Bunuo are a practically untouched people group, separated from the Gospel by geographical, political, cultural, and linguistic barriers. Because they are not officially recognized by the Chinese government, the Bunuo are unknown to both Chinese and Western Christians. There are very few believers of any kind in the part of Guangxi inhabited by the Bunuo.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:23 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Approximately 17,000 Bunuo people live in a small area within Du'an County in the western part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. Du'an is an isolated mountainous area on the road between Debao and Jingxi townships.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Bunuo
People Name General: Bunuo
Alternate People Names:
Basket-Carrying YaoBeilou Yao
Bunu Pu-No
ROP3 Code: 101757
Joshua Project People ID: 11020
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 23,000
Population all Countries: 23,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Yao-Mien
People Name General: Bunuo
Ethnic Code: MSY47b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bunu, Bu-Nao (23,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bwx    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Bunuo
Dialect Code:8500
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions97.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoOpen the Doors See the Mountains
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Bunuo in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Yao-Mien     Asia, Northeast    
      Bunuo China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bunuo in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Bunu, Bu-Nao  
    All Religions                              

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