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Muji, Southern in China

Muji, Southern

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Muji, Southern in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
29,000 Muji, Southern Ethnic Religions 0.10 % 0.04 % No No   

Muji, Southern in China

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The Muji were first listed in a 1903 survey of the tribes of western China. Today, even though they consider themselves a distinct people group with their own traditional dress and language, the Chinese government includes the Muji as part of the large, diverse Yi nationality.

Over the the last 200 years the Muji have been pushed deep into the mountains by Han Chinese and settlers from other minority groups. Those who chose to stay in the plains were soon assimilated. Because their villages are located high in the mountains, often on rocky soil, the staple food of the Muji is maize.

Although Muji women north of the Honghe River wear an intricately decorated headdress which covers their entire head, their counterparts south of the river prefer to wear theirs differently. The southern Muji women have a peculiar custom of braiding their long hair into one thick braid and wrapping the braid around their foreheads. A decorative headdress is then worked into the braid producing a lovely, natural crown.

When a baby is born to a Muji couple, the child is thought to need a godfather and godmother. When the child turns six or seven years old, a suitable relative or friend is chosen who will provide protection and safety through life and into the afterlife. "A ceremony is held for which the parents prepare chicken and whisky and take the child to the home of his or her selected godfather and godmother. The godparents bestow a surname on the child, and then give the child symbolic jewelry and clothing. The ceremony comes to an end when the 'spirit rope' is fastened around the child's wrist. The spirit rope is thought to ensure the safe passage of the child's soul through life and into death."

Although Miao churches exist in some of the areas inhabited by the Muji, there is very little contact and no linguistic similarity between the Miao and the Muji. There is at least one known Muji Christian, an elderly lady who said she believes in Christ because only he could heal her of her ailments. There may be a small number of Muji attending the one church situated in Gejiu City; otherwise there are no other known Christians among the unreached Muji people group. Muji gospel recordings were first produced in 1999.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-26
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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 53,000 Muji people live high in the mountains of several counties within southern Yunnan Province. The largest concentrations of Muji live in Gejiu and Mengzi counties, followed by Hekou, Pingbian, and Jinping counties. The Muji also used to live in the Xiaolila and Dalila villages of Tonghongdian District in Huaning County, but today the people in these villages have lost their original ethnicity and languages: they consider themselves Han Chinese.
(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: Muji, Southern
People Name General: Muji, Southern
Alternate People Names:
LahiM Ji
ROP3 Code: 114233
Joshua Project People ID: 18613
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 29,000
Population all Countries: 29,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Muji, Southern
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Muji, Southern (29,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ymc    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Muji
Dialect Code:19353
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.10 %(Evangelical: 0.04 %)
Ethnic Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.90 % 
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 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
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]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Muji, Southern in China

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

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