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Li, Jiamao in China

Li, Jiamao

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Li, Jiamao in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
95,000 Jiamao Ethnic Religions 0.20 % 0.07 % No No   

Li, Jiamao in China

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The Jiamao Li derive their name from the area they inhabit. Other Li groups call them Kamau. The Jiamao refer to themselves as Tai, which simply means "people."

The Jiamao language differs most from the other Li varieties and shares only about 40% of its lexicon with the other Li languages. There are considerable differences between the Li languages, both phonetically and lexically. The Jiamao language consists of five tones, but "they do not correspond to those of the Ha, Qi, Bendi and Meifu dialects." There are no dialect variations reported among the Jiamao.

The various Li groups, including the Jiamao Li, are proud of the fact that they are the original inhabitants of Hainan Island. During the Song and Yuan dynasties (960 - 1368), the Li staged 18 large-scale uprisings against oppressive Chinese rule on the island. During the China-Vietnam War in the late 1970s, it was feared the Vietnamese would invade Hainan, but this fear proved unfounded. In recent years, territorial disputes over the Spratley Islands, which lie to the south of Hainan, have greatly increased tensions in the region. Virtually every country in Southeast Asia lays claim to the hundreds of tiny, oil-rich islands.

For centuries Li women observed the custom of tattooing their bodies and faces at the onset of puberty. This was considered a mark of beauty. The Chinese have discouraged this practice. Today only old Li women can still be seen with tattoos.

The Jiamao Li are animists. They traditionally consulted shamans and witch doctors to deal with sickness. Today this practice has been replaced by Western and Chinese medicine. In the past, the Jiamao sacrificed animals to their gods and spirits. A chicken was killed for a minor sickness and a pig for a more serious illness. If someone was in danger of dying, the required sacrifice was to slaughter an ox in a vain bid to appease the offending spirits.

The first recorded Christian presence on Hainan were the Jesuits, who came from Macau in 1630 and established a chapel at Fucheng. The American Presbyterian Mission commenced work on Hainan Island in 1885 when Charles McCandliss was appointed as a missionary to the island. McCandliss and his wife lived on Hainan for 40 years. Their upright lives gave Christianity a good name among the people, and many came to Christ. Today there are a relative handful of Jiamao Christians. Most Jiamao have yet to hear the gospel, although gospel recordings are available in their language.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-07-28
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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:Fifty-two thousand speakers of the Jiamao language were reported in a 1987 study. They live in the southeastern part of Hainan Island, concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of Baoting County, as well as in parts of Lingshui and Qiongzhong counties. They live near Wuzhi (Five Finger) Mountain - the highest peak at 1,867 meters (6,124 ft.) on the island. The Lingshui River flows through Jiamao territory.
(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: Li, Jiamao
People Name General: Li, Jiamao
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114168
Joshua Project People ID: 18551
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 95,000
Population all Countries: 95,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Li
People Name General: Li, Jiamao
Ethnic Code: MSY49z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Jiamao (95,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): jio    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: 0.07 %)
Ethnic Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.80 % 
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]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Li, Jiamao in China

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

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