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Baihong in China


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Baihong in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
251,000 Honi Ethnic Religions 2.80 % 2.70 % No   

Baihong in China

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The Baihong are one of many people groups combined by the government to form the official Hani nationality in China. The Baihong were formerly named Mahei - which is the name they are still listed under in most mission publications today.

Baihong is one of at least five different Hani languages in Mojiang (Ink River) County alone. One visitor to the region "learned that there were around 14 different Hani dialect groups in just one area." Most of these dialects are mutually unintelligible. Linguist David Bradley places the Baihong language in the Hao-Bai branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family and notes that fewer than 80,000 Baihong are still able to speak their language.

The Baihong belong to a large historical group who are thought to have migrated from the Tibetan Plateau about 2,500 years ago. Legend says the ancestors of the Baihong, at that time numbering 7,000 households, "once lived on a vast fertile plain away in the east where the sun rises." The importance of preceding generations of Baihong is recognized by their saying, "With a strand of hair from each ancestor, one would have to hold nine handfuls of hair."

One visitor to the Baihong noted, "The dress of the women here is quite an unusual style. I saw a Baihong woman wearing short, tight pants and attached to her back was a piece of blue cloth about one foot long decorated with silver balls. As she moved, the cloth waved in the air, looking, when seen from a distance, for all the world like a tiny funny tail." They call this "armor". If armor is not worn by a Baihong woman she is considered indecent.

Because all Baihong youth have been educated in atheistic schools, most are not religious. Traditionally, however, the Baihong were animists. They believe spirits dwell in trees, water, mountains, and the sky. They believe that some of these spirits guard their villages, while others are bad spirits that bring disease and suffering. This has led to a complex set of superstitions and beliefs among the Baihong. For example, they are careful not to strike their hands together while washing because they do not want to offend the spirit of the water.

Some Baihong have heard the gospel from the neighboring Kado and Biyo, whose languages are related to the Baihong. As a result, there are some Baihong Christians today. Other Baihong who live in remote communities have yet to be visited by evangelists. The believers among the Baihong have at times encountered severe persecution from the local authorities, who are eager to arrest the spread of Christianity in their areas. Gospel recordings were recently produced in the Baihong language for the first time.

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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 Baihong "have a larger population" among the various Hani subgroups in China. The Baihong live over a widespread area between Mojiang and Yuanjiang counties in southern Yunnan Province. Almost 200,000 Baihong live in villages that are "situated halfway up the mountain, shrouded by clouds and mists. Their houses are made of earthen walls and thatched roofs sloping down on four sides."
(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: Baihong
People Name General: Baihong
Alternate People Names:
Boo KoBuku
ROP3 Code: 114003
Joshua Project People ID: 18409
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 251,000
Population all Countries: 251,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Hani
People Name General: Baihong
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Honi (251,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): how    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Baihong
Dialect Code:20834
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity2.80 %(Evangelical: 2.70 %)
Ethnic Religions90.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious7.20 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2018
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 Honi
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
Data Sources

Baihong in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Hani     Asia, Northeast    
      Baihong China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Baihong in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Honi  
    All Religions                              

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