People-in-Country Profile

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

Malimasa in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Malimasa in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
600 Naxi Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Malimasa in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

The other people in the Weixi region say they have viewed the Malimasa as a separate people group for at least one hundred years. The Chinese authorities, however, have included the Malimasa under the official Naxi nationality.

The history of the Malimasa is shrouded in uncertainty, but their language suggests that they were once part of the Mosuo people who are today concentrated a considerable distance northeast of Weixi, on the Yunnan-Sichuan border. The Malimasa are still a purely matriarchal and matrilineal society, with women in complete control of all finances, possessions, and decision-making.

The Malimasa wear their own traditional dress, distinct from all other groups in the area. Women wear a large turban wrapped around their heads. Sickness and disease have long plagued people in this part of China. When Rock visited Weixi 70 years ago, he reported, "Nowhere have I seen goiter so prevalent as here. The people carried regular pouches in their throats, like certain monkeys when they fill up with peanuts."

The Malimasa are virtually all Tibetan Buddhist. There are a number of Tibetan, Lisu, and Naxi Christians in the Weixi area, but they have had little impact on the staunch belief system of the Malimasa.

Catholic missionaries from the Grand St. Bernard Order commenced work at Latsa Pass near Weixi in 1931. Several Protestant families also lived in Weixi prior to 1949. The great missionary statesman Hudson Taylor, writing of China's needs in general, stated, "The harvest here is indeed great, and the laborers are few and imperfectly fitted for such a work. And yet grace can make a few feeble instruments the means of accomplishing great things - things greater even than we can conceive." Taylor's passionate desire was that national believers would be given the leadership of their own churches and have control over their own affairs. He wrote, "I look upon foreign missionaries as the scaffolding around a rising building. The sooner it can be dispensed with, the better; or rather, the sooner it can be transferred to other places, to serve the same temporary use, the better."

View Malimasa 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:Approximately 100 Malimasa families inhabit an area near the town of Weixi, in the northwest of Yunnan Province. Weixi, five hours by road from the city of Zhongdian, is at the juncture where the Tibetan and Chinese worlds meet. Joseph Rock, an intrepid explorer and botanist, described Weixi in the 1920s as "a forlorn place of about 400 houses.… The town boasts a wall of mud with a few dilapidated gates." The Malimasa people live in extremely remote communities. Severe snowfall often cuts their villages off from the outside world for weeks at a time during the winter months.
(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: Malimasa
People Name General: Malimasa
ROP3 Code: 114189
Joshua Project People ID: 18572
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 600
Population all Countries: 600
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Malimasa
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Naxi (600 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): nxq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Tibetan
Major Religions:
Buddhism95.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions5.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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: 1932
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 (GRN)
Film / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Naxi
Film / VideoLife After the Earthquake
Film / VideoLife After the Earthquake
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
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

Malimasa in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tibeto-Burman, other     Asia, Northeast    
      Malimasa China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Malimasa in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Naxi  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: