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Awu, Northern in China

Awu, Northern

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Awu, Northern in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,700 Awu Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Awu, Northern in China

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Although the Northern Awu share the same autonym as the Southeastern Awu, the two groups speak vastly differing languages and live separated by more than 200 miles of rugged mountains. The Northern Awu have been officially included under the Yi nationality by the Chinese government, even though they possess their own customs, ethnicity, and language.

The Northern Awu have lived in their remote part of Yunnan Province for many centuries. They may have been former slaves of the Xiaoliangshan Nosu, who dominated the lives of people in the area until slave trade was finally abolished in the late 1950s.

Numerous festivals are celebrated by the Yi peoples of northern Yunnan. The Northern Awu participate in many of them, including the Garment Competition which involves the women's embroidery skills. All the women are dressed in their finest attire, which causes the hillsides to come alive with color. Later, there is singing and dancing, and special competitions are held. This festival affords young people a chance to meet prospective partners. It also allows older participants a time to relax from their work and to catch up with their friends and relatives from other areas.

The Northern Awu believe in a host of spirits and deities which must be appeased in order to bring peace and prosperity to their communities. They also believe the human soul lives on after death and travels back to the abode of ancestors.

Little Christian activity has ever taken place in Yongsheng County. The remote mountains and former threat of slavery combined to keep evangelists and missionaries away from the area. As a result, the Northern Awu are an unreached and unevangelized people group with no access to the gospel and no contact with Christians.

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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
Location in Country:Numbering just 3,500 people, the Northern Awu inhabit the Peiyuan, Shuiping, and Yongle communities within the Da'an District of Yongsheng County in northern Yunnan Province. Yongsheng is the only area known to be inhabited by the Northern Awu.
(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: Awu, Northern
People Name General: Awu, Northern
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 113997
Joshua Project People ID: 18403
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,700
Population all Countries: 4,700
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Awu, Northern
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Awu (4,700 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yiu    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 Religions97.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.00 % 
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: Yes
New Testament:
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

Awu, Northern in China

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

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