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Lipo, Western in China

Lipo, Western

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Lipo, Western in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
186,000 Language unknown Ethnic Religions 1.50 % 1.00 % No No   

Lipo, Western in China

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There is a great deal of confusion regarding the classification of the Lipo. The Lipo as a whole have been officially included as part of the Yi nationality in China, yet among the Lipo are two very distinct groups, which here are defined as Eastern and Western Lipo. The two do not consider themselves to be the same people. They have different histories, dress, customs, and languages. This century a further distinction has developed between the two groups: the Eastern Lipo are known as a Christian tribe while the Western Lipo have relatively few Christians. Lipo means "insiders." They refer to the Han Chinese as Xipo, or "outsiders."

One of the key elements in understanding the separation of the Lipo into two distinct groups is their past. While the Eastern Lipo are a Lisu-speaking group who migrated to their present location after a military defeat in 1812, the Western Lipo claim to have originated in Nanjing or Jiangxi in eastern China. According to local accounts, "the ancestors of today's Lipuo [Western Lipo] came as soldiers at various times from the early Ming to the early Qing dynasties [late 14th century to late 17th century]. Historical records confirm that those dynasties did send military expeditions to the area that is now Yongren; we can speculate that today's Lipuo [Western Lipo] are descendants of intermarriage between Han troops ... and local women."

The headdresses of Western Lipo women "come in four or five motley varieties. Men and women alike wear long goat-skin cape-vests and sport magnificently handembroidered shoulder bags. Although the younger generations seem to be forgetting their folk-tales and legends, ethnic music, song, and dance are still flourishing."

The majority of Western Lipo are polytheists. They worship many spirits and protective deities, including mountain deities. In most ways the Western Lipo mirror the religious beliefs of the Luoluopo.

Although the Eastern Lipo are a thoroughly Christian group, few Western Lipo have been evangelized. Most of the 200 known Western Lipo Christians are Catholics. In northeastern Binchuan County and in the Yupaojiang and Tiesuo districts of Dayao County, Catholic churches were planted before 1949. These are believed to contain some Western Lipo members today.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-07-06
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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 146,000 Western Lipo live in an impoverished area of northern Yunnan Province. They inhabit six counties in Yunnan - Dayao, Yongren, Yuanmou, Binchuan, Yao'an, and Yongsheng. A small number of Western Lipo spill across the border into the Renhe District of Panzhihua County in Sichuan Province.
(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: Lipo, Western
People Name General: Lipo, Western
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114176
Joshua Project People ID: 18559
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 186,000
Population all Countries: 186,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Lipo, Western
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Language unknown (186,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): Unknown     
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.50 %(Evangelical: 1.00 %)
Ethnic Religions93.50 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent15.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic85.00 %
(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: 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

Lipo, Western in China

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

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