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Gaiji in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
41,000 Chinese, Mandarin Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Gaiji in China

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The Gaiji are one of the more assimilated of the 120 ethnic groups that have been combined by the Chinese authorities to form the official Yi nationality. The Gaiji are a little-known people. They have never before appeared on ethnolinguistic lists of China's peoples.

Little is known about the history of the Gaiji people and how they relate to other Yi groups in southern China. Even oral traditions and legends are not handed down to Gaiji children anymore.

According to one researcher, the Gaiji "retain their folk-dances, certain festivals, and religious beliefs. These, however, along with their bloodline, are the only factors separating them from the pervasive Han culture." Gaiji weddings are traditionally very relaxed. Once a couple decides they are ready for marriage, they choose a day to go farther into the mountains and chop firewood together. The bride "bears the firewood on her back as the two return to the groom's home to meet his parents. The bride then works for the groom's parents for two or three days. After her work is done, the two leave for the home of the bride. At the bride's home the groom engages in conversation with the bride's parents; by and by he leaves with the family water buckets balanced on his shoulders with a bamboo rod. If he is able to return with full buckets and empty them into the household crock without spilling any water he is considered a capable candidate for marriage and knows that he has been accepted by his new in-laws. As soon as the couple returns to the home of the groom's family, the two are considered married."

Few Gaiji under the age of 30 have any religious beliefs. Most elderly Gaiji retain some vestiges of ancestor worship, Daoism, and animism. In the past, the Gaiji were a very superstitious people, but their beliefs have gradually eroded as have their culture and language.

Often when tribal peoples assimilate to Chinese culture and language it affords them a better chance of hearing the gospel, but in the case of the Gaiji this has not occurred because the Chinese living in the Gaiji area, Yunxian County, are also unreached. There may be a very small number of professing Han believers in the county seat, which is the main administrative town, but they are not known to be outward-looking in their faith. The Gaiji remain unreached and untold.

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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:Approximately 30,000 members of the Gaiji ethnic group reportedly live in the central part of Yunxian County in Yunnan Province. They share the county with many ethnic groups, including the Mishaba Laluo, the Mili, and the Limi. Yunxian County lies within the jurisdiction of the Lincang Prefecture.
(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: Gaiji
People Name General: Gaiji
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114056
Joshua Project People ID: 18456
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 41,000
Population all Countries: 41,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Gaiji
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin (41,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cmn    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 Religions85.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious15.00 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1864-1986
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1823-2018
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)
Audio RecordingsChrist for the Nations
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Traditional (FCBH ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralChinese Blog about Unreached Peoples
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Ed ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Editi ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Tr ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: 新譯本(繁體字版)
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Chinese, Simplified )
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Chinese, Traditional)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Gaiji in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Gaiji China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Gaiji in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Chinese, Mandarin  
    All Religions                              

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