People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Gesu in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Gesu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
16,000 Chinese, Mandarin Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Gesu in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

The Gesu have been officially included as part of the Yi nationality in China. In the 1950s the Gesu were one of 260 tribes and people groups in Yunnan Province who applied to be recognized as a separate minority. The Gesu are also called Gaoshanzu (High Mountain People) or Tuzu (Soil People) by their Han Chinese neighbors. It is possible that these two names represent two different subgroups of Gesu.

The various branches of the Yi are believed to have descended from the Di and Qiang peoples who migrated south to the Dianchi area in Yunnan and the Qiongdou area of Sichuan in the second century BC. After the Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420), the Cuan clan became rulers of the Dianchi region, northeastern Yunnan, and the Honghe River area. These places were later known as the Cuan area. Its people became the forerunners of today's various Yi tribes.

Every year on the eighth day of the second lunar month, the Gesu living near Tanhua Township in Dayao County celebrate the Flower- Decorating Festival. The people get together, worship the mali flower, and have flower decoration competitions. They also sing and dance and generally have a good time with relatives and friends. Because it is usually still quite cold, bonfires are built to give warmth and to roast meat and corn. A similar celebration, called the Festival of the Mali Flower, is held on the same day in Wuding County, although the Wuding version of the festival focuses more on paying respect to the Mali Flower god and on giving the youth a chance to meet prospective partners from other villages.

In addition to worshiping the Flower god, the Gesu worship the sun, stars, and moon. Perhaps their most-feared deity is the god of the Mountains. They believe large, powerful demons live inside the highest mountains in the area and must be placated to avoid disaster in their communities.

No mission agencies have ever included the Gesu on their lists of people groups in China. They are a largely unevangelized and unreached people group. Because their villages are remote and because the Gesu have an independent mindset, they rarely travel into the towns or have any contact with other tribes. There are no gospel recordings available in the Gesu language.

View Gesu in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
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 authorities of the Chuxiong Prefecture in Yunnan Province listed a 1957 figure of 6,753 Gesu people. Their population is estimated to have grown to approximately 12,000 today. The Gesu inhabit villages in parts of Dayao and Wuding counties. Both are under the jurisdiction of Chuxiong Prefecture.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Gesu
People Name General: Gesu
Alternate People Names:
GaoshanGesu Yi
ROP3 Code: 114066
Joshua Project People ID: 18464
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: Gesu
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin (16,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cmn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
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
Submit Update:
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
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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

Gesu in China

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

Direct link: