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Miao, Luobohe in China

Miao, Luobohe

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Miao, Luobohe in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
104,000 Miao, Luopohe Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Miao, Luobohe in China

People Group Video [7]
Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
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Introduction / History
The friendly Hmong tribes (also known as the Miao) originated in China. However, during the 1800s, many immigrated to Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. Over the years, they gradually expanded into approximately seventy to eighty separate groups, each with its own dialect, style of dress, and customs.

Today, there are about one million Hmong speakers living in China. The five Hmong groups covered in this profile are spread throughout the mountains of southern China, primarily in the central and southwestern parts of the Guizhou province. They include the Luopohe, Central Mashan, Chonganjian, Southwestern Huishui, and Western Mashan. Their language forms part of the Western branch of the Miao languages.

The Hmong have a long history of resistance to the Chinese imperial authorities and endeavor to live separately from the Han Chinese, who called them "barbarians" and "dogs." For centuries, the Chinese have attempted to subjugate the Hmong. These attempts have instilled a quest for freedom deep within the hearts of the Hmong.

What are their lives like?
The Hmong live in villages nestled high in the rocky mountain areas. Some are located several days walk from the nearest road. The Hmong economy is based on farming and raising draft animals such as cows or buffalo. The Hmong generally use the "slash and burn" method of agriculture on the mountain slopes. Those who live in the lower areas cultivate dry rice and maize. They also grow opium poppies as a cash crop. Those living at higher altitudes grow maize, millet, or buckwheat rather than rice. The children work alongside their parents in the fields.

The Hmong do not live with other ethnic groups, but have their own, separate villages. Divination is used to determine the site of each new settlement. This ensures that the villagers will live in harmony with the spirits that surround them. A typical settlement contains from seven to fifty households arranged in a horseshoe pattern. The villages are preferably sheltered by the forest and situated near a good water source.

Within the village, the site for each house is chosen with great care, since the location must be acceptable to the ancestral spirits. Houses are usually built directly on the ground rather than on stilts. In some parts of China, the Hmong live in houses made of adobe or stone, similar to the homes of the Chinese. Poorer families construct their houses out of pieces of split bamboo and rough matting. Each home contains at least one altar for the ancestral spirits. Houses are never built in a way that would hinder a spirit from freely entering the door and going to the altar. Every house must face downhill, and no two houses may be in direct line with each other, since this might obstruct the pathway of the spirits.

Hmong society is divided into a number of patrilineal clans, which means that the line of descent is traced through the males. These clans freely intermarry. Polygyny (having multiple wives) is permitted, although only the wealthiest men can afford to have second wives. Courtship is one of the main themes of the numerous Hmong festivals. Young couples often sing love songs to each other and exchange small gifts. Although arranged marriages are becoming more common, young people are still free to select their own mates. A newlywed couple usually lives with the groom's family until the birth of their first child. At that time, the young couple moves into their own home.

Among the five Hmong groups discussed, the most important social units are the family and the clan (extended family). Within the extended family, the oldest male has virtually unlimited authority. Some households are nuclear, while others are extended, ranging from one to twenty-five members.

The Hmong are generally small in stature, kind, hospitable, and lovable. They are well known for their songs and dances. Although they have no full-time craftsmen, they are famous for their silver work, embroidery, and intricate needlework.

What are their beliefs?
The Hmong practice their own ethnic religion, which involves the worship of demons, spirits of nature, and ancestral spirits. There are many "household spirits," which they believe protect them from disease and death, and watch over their crops, money, and livestock. These spirits are appeased through animal sacrifices and the burning of "paper money." Every village has at least one Shaman (witchdoctor) who is used to exorcise evil spirits.

What are their needs?
Almost all activities of the Hmong are regulated by customs and taboos. They believe that their surroundings are inhabited by spirits. They are therefore always on guard against the evil spirits, avoiding activities that might anger them. Prescribed methods and procedures govern everything from individual behavior to the locations of their homes and villages.

The majority of the Hmong have not heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Witness to them is difficult, however, because missionary activity in China is currently restricted. Prayer is the key to seeing them reached with the Gospel that can truly set them free!

Prayer Points
* Pray that the doors of China will soon be open to the preaching of the Gospel.
* Ask God to send forth loving Chinese Christians to minister the love of Jesus to the Hmong.
* Pray for the salvation of key Hmong leaders who will boldly declare the Gospel among their own people.
* Pray that missions organizations and churches will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Hmong.
* Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for the Hmong.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth many fellowships of believers among the Hmong for the glory of His name!
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-07-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-07-14
Prayer Links
The Miao
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Approximately 77,000 speakers of the Luobohe (Luobo River) Miao language live in southern China. They inhabit parts of Fuquan, Weng'an, Guiding, Longli, Kaiyang, and Kaili counties in central Guizhou Province. Visitors to the region are often overwhelmed at the enormous variety of different Miao subgroups. "Along the roads of central Guizhou, one cannot fail to notice a great variety of Miao. Every 50 kilometers or so we found that the women's dress and appearance varied. There were those with long skirts, those with short skirts, hair done in a knot, hair done in a more elaborate coiffure."
(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: Miao, Luobohe
People Name General: Miao, Luobohe
Alternate People Names:
Hmong, LuopoheLuopohe
Luopohe MiaoXiamahe Miao
ROP3 Code: 106596
Joshua Project People ID: 13705
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 104,000
Population all Countries: 104,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Miao / Hmong
People Name General: Miao, Luobohe
Ethnic Code: MSY47a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Miao, Luopohe (104,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hml    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active 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)
Ministry Activity
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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

Miao, Luobohe in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Miao / Hmong     Asia, Northeast    
      Miao, Luobohe China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Miao, Luobohe in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Miao, Luopohe  
    All Religions                              

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