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Tujia in China


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Tujia in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
9,699,000 Chinese, Mandarin Ethnic Religions 1.10 % 1.00 %   

Tujia in China

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The Tujia, whose name means "natives" or "original inhabitants," are one of China's officially recognized nationalities. Most Tujia today are ethnically indistinguishable from the Han Chinese. The vast majority have been assimilated since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) when they were sent as soldiers to fight Japanese pirates on the east coast of China.

Only 170,000 Tujia are able to speak their language. The rest speak Chinese or the local dialect of Ghao-Xong. Speakers of Tujia are concentrated mainly in the Youshuihe, Mengdonghe, and Xichehe river areas of the Xiangxi Prefecture in Hunan Province. In these areas education is conducted in the Tujia language until the third grade; after that, Mandarin is used. It is possible the Tujia once possessed a script which may have been lost as they assimilated to Chinese culture. In 1890 the British Consul Borne discovered a document in an unknown script. Borne was located at Tchong-Kiu - present day Zhong County in eastern Sichuan - north of the Tujia area. The speakers of Northern Tujia call themselves Bizika, while Southern Tujia speakers call themselves Mozhihei.

There are several theories about the origin of the Tujia. Some say they are the descendants of the ancient Ba tribe. Many Tujia still call themselves Ba. By the early 900s the Tujia were already recognized as a distinct people group in western Hunan.

One of the common motifs on Tujia embroidery is the bull's eye. This refers to a Tujia legend, which relates how one autumn day a herd of bulls was attacked by a tiger while grazing on a mountain slope. "At first sight of the tiger, the bulls were startled, even frightened, but they soon regained their composure. The bulls then charged at the tiger, which fled in panic. To this day the Tujia regard the bull's eye as a symbol of the victory of good over evil. Other common motifs include the snake and the white tiger since these were the totems of the Ba tribe."

The Tujia of Guizhou practice nuo (exorcism) ceremonies. The Tujia evoke the spirits of Fuxi and Nuwa - the first human beings according to Chinese legend. The ceremony includes supernatural feats such as climbing ladders of sharp knives and walking on hot coals or glass.

Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries first entered Tujia areas with the gospel near the end of the nineteenth century and established a small number of churches, schools, and medical clinics among the Tujia. Today it is estimated that there are between 13,000 and 30,000 Tujia Christians, a tiny proportion for such a large group.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-08
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-10
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:16 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:More than 5.7 million members of the Tujia nationality were reported in the 1990 census. They live at the juncture of Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, and Sichuan provinces. The population given for the Tujia doubled between 1982 - when they numbered 2.8 million - and 1990. This was due more to the redefinition of minority status by the Chinese authorities than to biological growth.
(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: Tujia
People Name General: Tujia
Alternate People Names:
Northern TujiaPi-tse-k'a
ROP3 Code: 114336
Joshua Project People ID: 18702
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 9,699,000
Population all Countries: 9,699,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Tujia
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Language Code (ISO): cmn    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Tujia, Northern (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.10 %(Evangelical: 1.00 %)
Ethnic Religions78.90 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious20.00 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1864-1986
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1874-2018
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
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / VideoLove letter to you from scripture
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralWalk with the Prophets and meet the Mess ...
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Chinese, Mandarin
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tujia in China

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

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