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Bouyei in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Bouyei in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,295,000 Bouyei Ethnic Religions 0.70 % 0.17 %   

Bouyei in China

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Introduction / History
The Bouyei are one of the ancient peoples of Guizhou, having inhabited the province for more than 2,000 years. Thousands of Bouyei were burned at the stake during the Nanlang Rebellion in 1797. The horrific persecution forced many Bouyei to flee into Vietnam.

It appears that the official division between the Bouyei and Zhuang in China is defined by provincial borders. The Northern Tai speaking groups in Guangxi are labeled Zhuang, and those in Guizhou, Bouyei. Until one generation ago, the Bouyei were more commonly known as the Chungchia, a name meaning "people in the middle." A 1945 study of the Bouyei revealed they were "divided into five distinct tribes."

Bouyei—which has eight tones—is a Northern Tai language, similar (and in some places identical) to Northern Zhuang. There are three Bouyei dialects in China, although as many as 40 dialects have been incorrectly reported in the past. In 1995 the Chinese government decided to discontinue education in the Bouyei language, and now all schooling is conducted in Mandarin Chinese. Only 12% of the Bouyei have attended high school, one of the lowest rates among the 55 official minorities in China.

What are their lives like?
When a Bouyei woman is in the process of giving birth, they put a tree branch across the door to prevent intruders from entering. An altar to the spirits is erected to ensure the delivery goes smoothly. After the birth, the placenta is buried under the bed.

What are their beliefs?
The Bouyei are polytheists. They also practice an ancient form of exorcism called nuo. "A family will hire a shaman to cast out demons of illness or bad fortune. Ceremonies include climbing knife ladders, walking on fire or glass, and other activities to demonstrate the power of the spirits."

Catholic missionaries have worked among the Bouyei for 200 years. Many were martyred for their witness. The CIM missionary J. F. Braumton arrived in Guiyang in 1877. A mission station was opened in Dushan in 1895, but "the time of the missionaries was entirely given up to work among the Chinese." In 1985 there were nine Catholic churches in the Qianxinan Prefecture. Several mission agencies commenced church planting efforts among the Bouyei in the late 20th century.

What are their needs?
The Bouyei people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers them in John 10:10.

Prayer Points
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders to happen among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

View Bouyei in all countries.

Prayer Links
Bouyei profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-19
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-21
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-06-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-06-18
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-14
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:17 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:The Bouyei inhabit the rolling hills in the southern part of Guizhou Province. Bouyei villages are often located near streams and rivers.
(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: Bouyei
People Name General: Bouyei
Alternate People Names:
Bố YBo-i
ROP3 Code: 114016
Joshua Project People ID: 18421
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 3,295,000
Population all Countries: 3,295,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Bouyei
People Name General: Bouyei
Ethnic Code: MSY49b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bouyei (3,295,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pcc    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Qianzhong
Dialect Code:8343
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism15.00 % 
Christianity0.70 %(Evangelical: 0.17 %)
Ethnic Religions80.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.30 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent24.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic76.00 %
(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: 1904-2021
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
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bouyei
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoThe Story of Xiao Nong
Film / VideoThe Story of Xiao Nong
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Bouyei
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

Bouyei in China

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

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