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Tusu in China


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Tusu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
42,000 Lalo, Central Ethnic Religions 0.14 % 0.06 % No No   

Tusu in China

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The Tusu actually call themselves Tu, but in Operation China their alternate name is used to avoid confusion with the official Tu nationality of Qinghai Province. The Chinese refer to many tribal peoples as Tu or Tuzu. As Jamin Pelkey explains, "In Chinese tu means 'dirt' or 'native' and turen means 'natives' or 'aborigines'. Nevertheless, this people actually refer to themselves as Tusu (Tu people) in their own language - that is to say, Tu is their autonym. This people began to call itself Tu in the seventh century AD."

For more than 1,300 years the Tusu have appeared in Chinese records of Yunnan Province. The Tusu "are said to be descendants of the ancient Muocha tribe which moved from Baoshan to Weishan in ancient times. In the seventh century AD they moved to present-day Xiangyun County and later spread into southeastern Dayao and parts of Binchuan County."

In some areas the Tusu love to come together and participate in local festivals, since it gives them a chance to relax and forget about their hardships and struggles. The festivals also serve as a reunion for relatives and friends. The Tiger Dance Festival is held for one week during the first lunar month each year. Large feasts are held, and tribesmen take the opportunity to trade with each other.

At another time of the year the Tusu indulge in ceremonial washing and bathing, which represents a cleansing from sin for the past year's transgressions. Houses are also thoroughly cleaned out as the people bid to start the upcoming year afresh. They also eat glutinous rice, dance, sing, and get drunk. Polytheism (the worship of many gods), animism (spirit appeasement), and ancestor worship are the three main religions among the Tusu people.

The status of Christianity among the Tusu is uncertain, but there are believed to be about 20 Catholic believers in Binchuan County. There are a number of Han Chinese and Bai churches in the area, but most of the people do not really understand the gospel. Many others have no awareness of the existence of Christianity at all.

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Global Prayer Digest: 2018-07-15
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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:Approximately 31,000 Tusu people live in the western central part of Yunnan Province in southwest China. In Xiangyun County the Tusu inhabit the Da'aonai Community of Luwu District; the Jindan, Zhifang, and Dacang communities of Xiazhuang District; the Jiangwei Community of Pupeng District; and all the communities within Dongshan District. In Dayao County the Tusu mainly inhabit villages within the Beiyangdi Community in the Sanchahe District, but are also thought to live in some villages of Tiesuo District. The Tusu also live in Binchuan County, but their exact distribution in Binchuan has yet to be determined.
(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: Tusu
People Name General: Tusa
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114339
Joshua Project People ID: 18705
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 42,000
Population all Countries: 42,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mongolian
People Name General: Tusa
Ethnic Code: MSY41y
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Lalo, Central (42,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ywt    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.14 %(Evangelical: 0.06 %)
Ethnic Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.86 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent50.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic50.00 %
(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: 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

Tusu in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mongolian     Asia, Northeast    
      Tusa China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tusu in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Lalo, Central  
    All Religions                              

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