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Naheng in China


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Naheng in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,600 Naxi Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Naheng in China

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Although the Chinese authorities officially include the Naheng as part of the Naxi nationality, the Naheng have their own name, speak a distinct language, and view themselves differently from other communities. The Naheng may have originally been part of the Mosuo and Naru groups, but centuries of separation have caused them to possess a distinct ethnicity today.

The Naheng language suggests they were once part of the larger Mosuo group. For an unknown reason the Naheng separated from the main body of Mosuo at Lugu Lake and migrated southeast to their present location. Today the marked differences between the Mosuo and Naheng mean that the two groups no longer acknowledge historical kinship. The main difference, however, is that, whereas the Mosuo are zealous proponents of Tibetan Buddhism, the majority of Naheng are animists.

Naheng villages consist of closely clustered log homes that are surrounded by a courtyard and gate. The Naheng are hardworking agriculturists. Wheat, maize, and legumes are the primary crops grown. Some families also grow potatoes and turnips. Except for poultry and pigs, they do not herd livestock. The Naheng were once a matriarchal society. Today their families are monogamous.

The Naheng live just south of the influence of Tibetan Buddhism in China and just north of the influence of the traditional Naxi religion of Dongbaism. Dongbaism is a mixture of shamanism and the pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion of Bon. Most Naheng today are animists and ancestor worshipers, although they also have a legend of a god of Creation.

Living in one of the most gospel-neglected parts of southern China, the Naheng are an unreached people group with practically no knowledge at all of Jesus Christ. The nearest believers to the Naheng are probably the Eastern Lipo farther east, but the Naheng have so far been outside the range of their evangelistic efforts.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:1
Location in Country:The Naheng ethnic group, who number approximately 1,200 individuals, live primarily in the Beiquba District of Ninglang County, in northern Yunnan Province. Smaller numbers of Naheng also live in the adjoining Shaoping and Zhangzidan districts of Yongsheng County. The area is remote, poor, and rarely visited by outsiders. Few roads were constructed in the mountainous area until recently. Because of its geographic isolation, numerous ethnic groups inhabit this part of China, including the Eastern and Western Lipo, Naxi, Mosuo, Pumi, and the Xiaoliangshan Nosu. One study in 1922 found there to be "as many as 26 different tribes" in the region surrounding Lijiang.
(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: Naheng
People Name General: Naheng
Alternate People Names:
Beiquba NaxiPei-ch'u-paa Naxi
ROP3 Code: 114237
Joshua Project People ID: 18617
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,600
Population all Countries: 1,600
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Naheng
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Naxi (1,600 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): nxq    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 Religions98.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious2.00 % 
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: 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 / 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
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Naheng in China

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

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