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Naisu in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
64,000 Yi, Wuding-Luquan Ethnic Religions 5.00 % 4.07 % No   

Naisu in China

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Naisu women wear distinctive red clothing and so are known locally as the Hong Yi (Red Yi). There are several different groups known as the Red Yi, so to avoid confusion, their self-name, Naisu, is used in Operation China.

During the past 2,000 years the various branches of the Yi have migrated far across southern China. At one time they were spread deep into Guizhou before most of them were driven back into Yunnan during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Naisu and other tribes were practically independent until the nineteenth century. The Chinese brought the region back under their control after successful military campaigns were launched against the Yi in Zhaotong and Weining.

The Naisu have many folktales which they hand down from generation to generation. They say that in the past their community life revolved around a sacred azalea tree which was located in the center of their village. The tree was huge and had a very wide trunk. Before men went out to find a wife they would pray at the base of the tree in order to secure success. For many generations the Naisu numbered only 99 families and could not seem to grow any larger. The people went to a bimo (shaman) and sought his advice. He told them to cut the tree down. All the Naisu men gathered their axes and began to chop the tree. The trunk bled profusely. As it was about to fall, two white cranes flew out of the tree's branches and left the village. As soon as the sacred tree had fallen the Naisu started dying and the men had no more success at capturing brides. They went to another bimo who told them they were foolish to have chopped down the tree because the tree itself was the 100th family. The people were devastated at what they had done and migrated away from the area. Every year in the third lunar month the Naisu come together to celebrate the Flower Festival in remembrance of the tree, and to worship the Mountain gods.

Most Naisu are animists. They have an ancient system of worshiping the spirits of the mountains, trees, and rivers.

There are approximately 2,000 Naisu Christians in northern Yunnan. They were the first to hear the gospel from Lipo believers who had been converted by foreign missionaries in the early 1900s. The Eastern Lipo church was taught to take responsibility for winning other ethnic groups to Christ. They traveled extensively throughout the region sharing the gospel by song and dance. Many people came to Christ as a result of supernatural healing of the sick. Today Wuding has been saturated with the gospel. There are some believers in all the people groups. A-Hmao believers in Lufeng have reached out to the Naisu, resulting in a number of believers in Gaofeng District.

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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:Almost 50,000 Naisu live at the juncture of four counties - Lufeng, Yuanmou, Wuding, and Mouding - in northern Yunnan Province. The Naisu live in isolated mountain villages.
(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: Naisu
People Name General: Naisu
Alternate People Names:
Hong YiHongee
Red Yi
ROP3 Code: 114238
Joshua Project People ID: 18618
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 64,000
Population all Countries: 64,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Naisu
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Yi, Wuding-Luquan (64,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ywq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity5.00 %(Evangelical: 4.07 %)
Ethnic Religions92.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.00 % 
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
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Bible Portions: 1923
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2016
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 Yi, Wuding-Luquan
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Ministry Activity
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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

Naisu in China

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

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