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Tu in China

Tu

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Tu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
261,000 Tu Buddhism 0.01 % 0.01 % No   

Tu in China

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Identity
The Tu - who are one of China's official minorities - believe they are descended from white feathers that were left behind by a flock of cranes. The Tibetans consider the Tu to be a part of the Tibetan nationality and accuse the Chinese of trying to weaken the unity of the Tibetan world by granting the Tu a separate identity. However, there is no doubt that the Tu are distinct from the Tibetans historically, culturally, and linguistically. There are two distinct languages spoken among the Tu: Huzhu, which is profiled here, and Mongour, which is covered separately.

Sixty percent of Tu vocabulary is still Mongolian in nature after 800 years of isolation. In 1979 a Tu script based on the Roman alphabet was created. It soon became popular among the Tu. The script is taught in local Tu schools today. A massive 70,000-entry Tu-Chinese dictionary was published in 1988. There are 11 different dialects within the Tu language. The Tu living in Datong County can now only speak Chinese. In addition, more than 4,000 ethnic Tu people speak Bonan as their mother tongue.

History
The Tu were first recorded in AD 1227, when a Mongol garrison was dispatched to control the area that the Tu still inhabit today. The troops remained there and later married women from local tribes. A bronze statue of the first Mongol general still stands in the Youning Monastery. Another historian states, "Their ancestors are believed to be the Tuguhuns who moved in the third and fourth centuries to Gansu and Qinghai provinces and mingled with local people of different nationalities. Places where the Tu people live in compact communities are still called Tuhun in the Tu language."

Customs
Until recently Tu girls were expected to be married by the age of 15. After that age, the girl was considered "married to heaven." If a Tu woman is still single by her mid-20s, she is allowed to sleep around, thus saving herself from disgrace in the eyes of the community. Any resulting children are raised by the entire Tu village. Unmarried Tu women wear a single ponytail to advertise their status to prospective partners.

Religion
The Tu are ardent followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Their main religious center is the Youning Monastery, founded in 1604. Shamans and mediums are also active among the Tu. The annual Nadun Festival focuses around the fala, a Tu medium who "impales himself with as many as 12 iron nails and is possessed by the spirit of the Erlang god."

Christianity
Prior to the forced deportation of missionaries from China in the early 1950s, a handful of Tu Christians attended Han Chinese churches in the area. Although there are no known Christians among the Tu today, there are about 400 Han Chinese believers living in the mountains 25 kilometers from Huzhu. They interact with the Tu and even speak the Tu language.

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Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-01
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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:Most live in north-west China, especially in Huzhu Tu Autonomous County in Qinghai Province. Others are scattered throughout other parts of Qinghai, as well as in neighboring areas of Gansu Province.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
   
 
Maps
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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: Tu
People Name General: Tu
Alternate People Names:
HuzhuMongour
MonguorTu-jen
White Mongols
ROP3 Code: 110227
Joshua Project People ID: 15603
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 261,000
Population all Countries: 261,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mongolian
People Name General: Tu
Ethnic Code: MSY41y
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Tu
Language Code (ISO): mjg    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Huzhu
Dialect Code:17709
Secondary Languages:
Bonan (Unknown)Chinese, Mandarin (Unknown)
Total Languages: 3
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism98.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions1.99 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent100.00 %
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 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2017
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tu
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
 
 
Ministry Activity
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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
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Tu in China

Peoples
               
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    Mongolian     Asia, Northeast    
     
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      Tu China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tu in China          
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      Buddhism     Tu  
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Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=15603&rog3=CH