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Tai Kao in China

Tai Kao

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Tai Kao in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
15,000 Tai Don Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Tai Kao in China

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Although the Tai Kao are part of the official Dai nationality in China, they possess their own spoken and written language and are fiercely proud of their distinct ethnic identity. Their name Tai Kao means "white Tai."

The majority of the Tai race in north China lived farther to the north prior to the thirteenth century, when invading Mongol armies pushed the Tai into southern China. Some groups - such as the Tai Kao, Tai Dam, and Red Tai - moved from Guangxi into Yunnan Province and farther south into Vietnam and Laos.

The Tai Kao live in compact communities along the Honghe River. Most are engaged in agriculture and fishing.

The animistic Tai Kao have never converted to Buddhism. They "have a number of statues and altars ... to the spirit of the soil, to the tiger god, and to Tan Sin and Kouan-Yin, local heroes now deified by the White Tai." Unlike most people in this region, the Tai Kao believe in a sovereign, supreme god who is active in their lives. "One of their legends states that their ancestors emerged from a pumpkin in which they had taken refuge during a divinely decreed flood that drowned all the other inhabitants of the earth because of their wickedness."

Despite the availability of weekly gospel radio broadcasts and Scripture portions in the Tai Kao language since 1969, few have shown any interest in Christianity. They have been described as "the most unreached of all the Tai groups." Little has changed since the 1920s, when missionaries in the region outlined their strategy for reaching the branches of the Tai in southern China: "We are not deaf to the call to plant and preach over the whole world; not among certain promising races only, nor alone in coastwise provinces. Neither do we put much reliance in the project to have the Chinese Christian assume entire responsibility for the evangelization of this disgracefully big unoccupied territory in Southwest China. There is too much racial antipathy. Chinese, unless under foreign guidance, will ever patronize the Tai ... and the Tai are as proud as the Chinese and resent being either abused or patronized."

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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:Approximately 11,000 Tai Kao live on the banks of the Honghe River in Jinping County in the southern part of Yunnan Province. Jinping borders Vietnam where approximately 200,000 Tai Kao live - a similar number to the Tai Kao population in northern Laos. Small Tai Kao refugee communities are also found in France and the United States.
(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: Tai Kao
People Name General: Tai Don, White Tai
Alternate People Names:
Dai KaoDai, White
Red TaiTai Blanc
Tai DTai Don
Tai KawTai Khao
Tai LaiThái
Thai TrangTribal Tai
White Tai
ROP3 Code: 109710
Joshua Project People ID: 18689
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 15,000
Population all Countries: 465,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Tai
People Name General: Tai Don, White Tai
Ethnic Code: MSY49z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tai Don (15,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): twh    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 Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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: 1967-1992
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)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tai Kao in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tai     Asia, Northeast    
      Tai Don, White Tai China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tai Kao in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Tai Don  
    All Religions                              

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