Introduction / History The Adu are an interesting people group, in that they have been officially included in the Yi nationality but speak a form of Yunnan Chinese.
Yunnan has witnessed numerous ethnic migrations. Hemmed in by huge mountains that separate it from its Southeast Asian neighbors, Yunnan has witnessed a massive fusion and scattering of people groups. The Yi have splintered into dozens of ethnic components, of which the Adu are just one. As clans and tribes moved away they formed their own communities and gradually forgot their relationship to the larger group. After centuries of isolation these different groups have developed their own identity, customs and languages.
What are their lives like? Marriage customs are simple among the Adu. In the past, parents were responsible for arranging their children's partners, but today most Adu youth choose their partners. The custom of paying a dowry, or bride price, has also lessened in recent decades. These days it is essential to own certain material possessions for a young Adu man to be considered attractive to a woman. These include a color TV, cell phone, motorbike, sewing machine, refrigerator, and washing machine.
What are their beliefs? The majority of Adu under the age of 40 are nonreligious. At most they observe customs relating to ancestor worship, and they may clean their ancestors' graves once a year. Most elderly Adu, however, retain their animistic practices and rituals, including worship of the spirits of trees, mountains, dragons, and rivers. The animism of the Adu is certain to diminish as time passes.
There are no known followers of Christ among the Adu. Few members of this small tribe have ever been exposed to the gospel. The Christian organization Global Recordings Network traveled to the Adu in 1999 and produced the first ever gospel message in the Adu language. Christians can potentially use this resource to take the gospel to the Adu for the first time.
What are their needs? Without the guidance of Christ, these people are like sheep without a shepherd. They need the good shepherd in their families and communities.
Prayer Points Pray for the spiritual blindness and bondage to the evil one to be removed so they can understand and respond to Christ.
Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love.
Pray that the Adu people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
More than 6,500 Adu people live in central Yunnan Province in southwest China. Approximately 3,500 live in Huaning County within Yuxi Prefecture. Their village names in Huaning are Songzichang, Xinzhai, Keju, and Chengmentong. There are many additional villages in the Lufeng District. An official Chinese report also lists 2,025 Adu people in the mountains of Haikou District in Chengjiang County, in the northern tip of Yuxi Prefecture. (Source: Operation China, 2000)