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Numao in China


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Numao in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
2,300 Bunu, Bu-Nao Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Numao in China

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The Numao, despite their small size, are known by a variety of different names. Local Han Chinese people call them Heiku Yao, which means "black trouser Yao," after the Numao men's custom of wearing black trousers. One subgroup of the Numao are called the Beidongnuo. The Chinese have found that this small group speak the same language as the Numao. But the Beidongnuo are profiled separately in Operation China because they insist they are a different ethnic group. The Numao are one of eleven distinct tribes of the Bunu people, all of which have been officially included under the Yao nationality by the Chinese authorities.

Long before the start of the Christian era, it is generally believed, the numerous groups belonging to today's Miao, Yao, and She nationalities were part of the same great race. Chinese accounts place the ancestors of these people in northern China around 500 BC. Persecution forced them to migrate into southern China, especially into the regions that are today's Jiangxi and Hunan provinces. Further conflict forced these groups to splinter into dozens of smaller units who, after centuries of separation from other members of their original race, evolved into distinct ethnolinguistic groups.

Numao culture is similar to that of the Yao who live in the same part of China. They consider Pan Hu to be their progenitor and worship him at certain festivals throughout the year. All Numao are agriculturists, struggling to produce good crops from the poor soil where they live.

In addition to their worship of Pan Hu, the Numao revere and appease a hierarchy of spirits and deities - including the spirit of the soil - and demons, which they believe live inside the highest mountains in their region.

Because of their small size, groups like the Numao tend to be overlooked by the Christian world. There has never been a known follower of Christ from among their tribe. God's Word has promised there will be redeemed representatives from all tribes, including the Numao, around his throne in heaven. Church planters need to view the Numao as an untouched group desperately in need of God, rather than ignore them because of their small numbers.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-07-06
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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:The 1982 Chinese census listed a population of 1,147 Numao people living in the mountains of southern China. They are located in Libo County in southern Guizhou Province. The Chinese authorities later amended their Numao population to 1,391 after they included the 244 Beidongnuo people with the Numao.
(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: Numao
People Name General: Numao
Alternate People Names:
Black Trouser YaoHeiku Yao
ROP3 Code: 107503
Joshua Project People ID: 14061
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 2,300
Population all Countries: 2,300
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Yao-Mien
People Name General: Numao
Ethnic Code: MSY47b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bunu, Bu-Nao
Language Code (ISO): bwx    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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
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)
Film / VideoOpen the Doors See the Mountains
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Numao in China

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

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