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Gese in China


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Gese in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
16,000 Nasu, Wusa Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Gese in China

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The Gese (pronounced "Geh-Seh") are one of the dozens of tribes which the Chinese authorities combined to form the official Yi nationality. Jamin Pelkey notes, "Though no Chinese sources firmly attest to this people group's existence, this people refer to themselves as Gese in their own language and think of themselves as different from Naisu. The Gese are not the same as the Gesu or the Gepo - two other Yi tribes in Yunnan Province.

A rich oral history recounts the Gese's victory over a terrible plague that struck the people in their region. Their stories may well refer to the Black Plague that decimated Yunnan Province between 1812 and 1903. It is estimated to have reduced the population from eight million to three million.

Gese women are easily identifiable by their habit of wearing long earrings and black turbans. On the 13th day of the third lunar month the Gese celebrate the Flower Festival. They worship the Medicine King, who they believe saved their race from the plague in the past. According to their folklore, people everywhere were dying. The first sign of impending death was to lose feeling in their arms and legs. The Gese say numerous bodies were being carried out of their villages daily. The people who carried the corpses out also died because of contact with the bodies. The Medicine King set out to find a cure for the plague. He tasted 99 herbs from 99 mountains and drank 99 gulps of water from 99 springs, but none of them provided a cure. Finally he climbed the "Third Month Mountain" in the Gese area and tasted the herbs and drank the water. Immediately, feeling returned to his limbs. He ran down the mountain and told the people, who were also healed when they ate and drank from the mountain.

The respect the Gese have for the memory of the Medicine King borders on worship. They also appease locality spirits, such as the spirit of the soil, the spirit of the water, and the spirit of the forests.

There are no known Christians among the Gese people. Few mission agencies have ever heard of this hidden people who go about their lives in the remote mountains of Lufeng County. The area where the Gese live has historically been devoid of gospel witness, although in recent years it has been rumored that some A-Hmao evangelists have reached out to people there. In 1998 gospel recordings were produced in the Gese 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:More than 12,000 people belonging to the Gese tribe live in an isolated part of southwest China. They mainly live in the villages of eastern Tuo'an District and in the villages in the southern part of the Gaofeng District in Lufeng County.
(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: Gese
People Name General: Gese
Alternate People Names:
White Yi
ROP3 Code: 114065
Joshua Project People ID: 18463
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 16,000
Population all Countries: 16,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Gese
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Nasu, Wusa (16,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yig    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 Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.00 % 
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
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: Yes
New Testament:
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)
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

Gese in China

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

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