People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Woni in China


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
141,000 Hani Ethnic Religions 4.00 % 3.63 % No   

Woni in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

The Woni are part of the Hani nationality in China. The Hani are a collection of at least "17 subgroups who speak at least six (and probably closer to 12) mutually unintelligible dialects. ... Each group is characterized by its own identity and tribal costume." An early ethnographer Henry Davies said the Yi mixed with the Mon-Khmer peoples to form the Woni. There is some confusion because the name Woni was also formerly used to describe all Hani in China. The Woni profiled here, however, are a distinct ethnolinguistic group.

Most Woni are impoverished peasants. Their average life expectancy is just 58 years, compared to the high national average of 72 years for members of the Manchu nationality.

The Woni are perceived as shy and distrustful of outsiders. "Despite this, they are noted for their warm, genuine hospitality once one gets to know them. When a guest enters their home, he is offered wine and strong tea. If he declines, the family will be highly offended." The Woni celebrate the New Year Festival: "At noon on New Year's Day, an announcer throws three balls of blackened rice behind him to bid farewell to the old year. He then greets the new year by tossing three balls of white rice in front of him. Next, he pushes the ropes of a special swing and all of the people, regardless of sex or age, begin swinging." The most interesting part of a Woni woman's dress is the long piece of square cloth attached to the turban. "One wonders how comfortable it is ... this woman's annex to the turban."

The Woni venerate the spirits of their parents-in-law. Each year in the second lunar month they hold a grand offering service. The whole village participates in praying to the spirit world for health, prosperity, and an abundant harvest. There is also a strong Christian presence among the Woni.

There are at least 48,000 Christians among the various Hani subgroups in China - the majority of whom are located in the Honghe Prefecture. Several thousand of these believers are members of the Woni ethnic group. In Mojiang County approximately 8,000 of the Hani believers are members of the government-sanctioned Three-Self Church. The Three-Self Movement has only one ordained pastor, Li Suyi, who was sent from Kunming to shepherd them. The remainder of the Christians belong to unregistered house churches.

View Woni in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:27 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Approximately 110,000 Woni live in Mojiang, Pu'er, and Simao counties in the southern part of Yunnan Province. The Woni plant crops and have rice paddies in places that others would consider an impossibility. Many Woni villages are situated at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters (4,800 ft.) above sea level.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Woni
People Name General: Woni
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114346
Joshua Project People ID: 18711
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 141,000
Population all Countries: 141,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Hani
People Name General: Woni
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Hani (141,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hni    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity4.00 %(Evangelical: 3.63 %)
Ethnic Religions89.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious7.00 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Yes
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 / VideoJesus Film: view in Hani
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Woni in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Hani     Asia, Northeast    
      Woni China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Woni in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Hani  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: