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Mengwu in China


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Mengwu in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
25,000 Sani Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Mengwu in China

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Although they possess their own ethnicity, customs, and language, the Mengwu have been officially included under the Yi nationality by the Chinese authorities. The Mengwu also simply call themselves Meng.

The Mengwu claim that they originated near today's Kunming City. Many centuries ago they migrated south to their present location. Since then they have lived alongside the Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities.

The Mengwu observe many interesting ceremonies and festivals. Between the seventh and ninth days of the fourth lunar month they engage in a festival called Dagongjie, which celebrates their victory in an ancient battle. The Mengwu say their ancestors beat their adversaries by using golden bamboo in battle. Both Mengwu men and women wear white shirts. The women "have red and black bands around their wrist cuffs and circular black hats with white and black plaid material on top. In the back the women's headdress flow into long red and silver tassels accompanied by a braid of hair."

The Mengwu are polytheists. They worship the creation rather than the Creator. Every year, on the 14th day of the eighth lunar month, the Mengwu get up in the small hours of the morning to worship the stars. The entire ceremony is presided over by a bimo (shaman) and the whole Mengwu population attends. "A white goat is prepared to be sacrificed by first sprinkling some clean water on its head to see whether or not the animal will shake off the water. If it does, this is regarded as a good omen. The sacrificial site is surrounded by caoguo, jingang pear, mulberry, and pine branches. It is said that the way an experienced bimo thrusts in these branches makes a sort of astrolabe, which denotes the relative positions of the stars being worshipped. The Mengwu burn sticks of incense and the goat is slaughtered. They hold a very similar ceremony to send off the soul of the deceased to be reunited with its ancestors in the afterlife."

There are no known Christians among the Mengwu, though it is possible that there are a handful who believe because of the influence of Han Chinese and Hmong Christians in the area. The Mengwu are unknown to the world of missions. They have never before appeared on any unreached peoples or ethnolinguistic lists of China. Consequently, they have never been focused on for Christian outreach.

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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:A total of 18,650 Mengwu people live in the southeastern part of Yunnan Province in southern China. They are found living in valleys and on the mountainsides along the common borders of Xichou, Malipo, Guangnan, and Funing counties. Approximately 8,000 are in Funing, 7,000 in Guangnan, 2,000 in Xichou, and 1,200 in Malipo.
(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: Mengwu
People Name General: Mengwu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 114194
Joshua Project People ID: 18575
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 25,000
Population all Countries: 25,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Mengwu
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sani (25,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ysn    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 Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Mengwu in China

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

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