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Tanglang in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,400 Tanglang Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Tanglang in China

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The Tanglang tribe has been officially included as part of the Yi nationality in China. In the 1920s one study in Lijiang County alone listed 26 different minority groups. The Tanglang believe they are a unique people group, with their own set of customs and their own language. The name Tanglang may mean "praying mantis" in Chinese.

Some Tanglang claim that they migrated to their present location about 200 years ago. They traveled on horseback from an unspecified location in the north and settled in the verdant basin, unoccupied at the time. Other Tanglang say that they have always lived in their present location. Despite living in the vicinity of minority groups such as the Naxi, Pumi, and Bai, the Tanglang have managed to preserve their own distinct culture and customs.

A massive earthquake rocked Lijiang County on 3 February 1996, killing 300 people, injuring 40,000, and leaving 300,000 homeless. The epicenter of the earthquake was near the Tanglang area. Many of their homes were destroyed, and because they are desperately poor, they have expended much energy since that time repairing their homes and trying to get their lives back to normal.

Every year the whole Tanglang community gathers to offer sacrifices to a sacred Mountain god. They believe a demon lives inside the largest mountains in the region. The demon must be placated for their lives to prosper and for no ill fortune to come their way. The Tanglang had a sacred pagoda, but it was destroyed in the 1996 earthquake. They make a pilgrimage to their sacred mountain every 13th day of the fifth lunar month. They offer sacrifices to the Mountain god.

The Tanglang have never appeared in any previous ethnolinguistic people group lists of China. They are a completely unevangelized and unknown group. The Tanglang's remote location has prevented outside Christians from having any contact with them. The nearest significant Christian community to them are the Lisu believers farther to the west.

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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
Total Provinces on file:1
Location in Country:The small Tanglang people group - who numbered 947 people within 185 families in a 1996 study - inhabit eight villages in the isolated Tanglang Basin in the southern part of Lijiang County. The locals call the basin Tanglangba. Administratively the Tanglang live in the Hongmai Community of Tai'an District. The Tanglang Basin is watered by the Tanglang River and is surrounded by a rim of mountains. During the rainy season, roads to the Basin are impassable; visitors are required to hike three hours from the nearest road in order to reach them.
(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: Tanglang
People Name General: Tanglang
Alternate People Names:
Tanglang Jiang
ROP3 Code: 114325
Joshua Project People ID: 18695
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,400
Population all Countries: 1,400
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Tanglang
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tanglang (1,400 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ytl    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 Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam4.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tanglang in China

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

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