People-in-Country Profile

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

Lemo 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
2,800 Chinese, Mandarin Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Lemo in China

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

The Lemo may be an ethnic group who developed as the result of intermarriage between the Tai Mao and Lisu. Francis Ward, writing in 1913, described them as racially mixed people who spoke and dressed like the Chinese. Today, the Lemo still see themselves as different from surrounding communities, and they still wear their own spectacular ethnic dress. The Chinese authorities have included the Lemo as part of the Lisu nationality.

The Lemo say they were once great hunters who fed their families by killing wild game in the mountains. These days most Lemo are agriculturists, although the men still possess bows and arrows, and swords. Since the government's inclusion of the Lemo under the Lisu minority - a classification the Lemo strongly disagree with - their identity as a distinct people group has gradually eroded. Neighboring people, who are forced to believe China has only 55 minority nationalities, now call them Lisu. This has resulted in some comical situations. When several researchers visited the Lemo in 1997, they asked at the home of a Bai man, who said he had never heard of such a group. They then knocked on the door of another home about 20 feet away. The family who lived there excitedly said they were Lemo, and all the people in that particular village were Lemo except the Bai home they first visited!

In the 1950s the Lemo were the focus of a government crop project. Due to irrigation and the use of 72 tons of manure per hectare, grain output dramatically increased from 100 kilograms (220 lb.) to 1.25 tons (2,750 lb.) per capita. In addition to agriculture, many Lemo are engaged in fishing and hunting.

Most Lemo people, especially the elderly, are Theravada Buddhists. They are superstitious people who believe in ghosts, deities, and the existence of good and evil spirits. If someone dies from an accident it is considered impure and a bad omen. Nine grains of rice (seven for women) are placed in the mouth of the deceased to appease the spirit of death.

Although the Lemo live in a strong Christian area which contains thousands of Lisu, Nu, and Han Chinese believers, there are no known Christians among the Lemo. The Lemo's strong belief in Buddhism and their isolated cultural mind-set have prevented them from accepting the gospel from their neighbors.

View Lemo in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
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:More than 2,000 people who use the ethnic name Lemo live in the small town of Lemo, 78 kilometers (48 mi.) from Liuku Township in western Yunnan Province. The Lemo live along the Nujiang River, near the mountainous China-Myanmar border and close to communities of Lisu and Nu people.
(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: Lemo
People Name General: Lemo
Alternate People Names:
Lai MoLaimo
ROP3 Code: 114162
Joshua Project People ID: 18545
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 2,800
Population all Countries: 2,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Lisu
People Name General: Lemo
Ethnic Code: MSY50l
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin (2,800 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): cmn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Theravada
Major Religions:
Buddhism60.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions39.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious1.00 % 
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 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1864-1986
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1823-2018
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 (GRN)
Audio RecordingsChrist for the Nations
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Traditional (FCBH ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralChinese Blog about Unreached Peoples
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Ed ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Editi ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Tr ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: 新譯本(繁體字版)
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Chinese, Simplified )
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Chinese, Traditional)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
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

Lemo in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Lisu     Asia, Northeast    
      Lemo China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Lemo in China          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Chinese, Mandarin  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: