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Wumeng in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
52,000 Nasu, Wumeng Ethnic Religions 10.00 % 9.90 % No No   

Wumeng in China

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Wumeng is an ancient tribal name that has been used for centuries to describe this people. It is probably just a loconym invented by the Chinese because this group lives in the Wumeng Mountain range. It is uncertain what name the Wumeng use for themselves, or whether they have adopted the use of Wumeng as their name.

The Wumeng are relatively recent arrivals in the region, having migrated there within the last 300 to 400 years. Their situation was described by Samuel Clarke, who wrote that "two days to the north of Anshun begin the estates and residences of the large Nosu [Yi] landholders, which stretch away as far as Zhaotong, Yunnan, one hundred and fifty miles away as the crow flies."

In the past the Wumeng were relatively wealthy slaveholders and landlords. Today they are still a proud people who discourage intermarriage with other ethnic groups, including other peoples classified as "Yi." In recent years a few Wumeng have married partners from other ethnic groups, only to have their families disown them and cut them off.

Polytheism, ancestor worship, and, in the past century, Christianity are the main religions among the Wumeng.

The Paris Foreign Missionary Society commenced work in Zhaotong in 1780. The China Inland Mission and the Methodists arrived in the area at the start of the twentieth century. On Christmas Day, 1905, Samuel Pollard recorded in his diary: "This Christmas for the first time we have had [Yi] visitors. More than thirty came as a result of the preaching of Mr. Wang. They are a strange-looking lot, much wilder than the Miao, and fiercer-looking. One of them was a Yi wizard who taught me some characters. They say there are about eight or nine hundred families who wish to come. Does this mean that salvation for them has come at last?" Today, there are believed to be approximately 5,000 Wumeng Christians in northeastern Yunnan, meeting in small house fellowships throughout the mountains.

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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:In 1999 ethnographer Jamin Pelkey listed a population of 38,300 Wumeng people in China. They live in four counties of Zhaotong Prefecture in northeast Yunnan Province. "In Zhaotong County the Wumeng live mainly in the Buga, Siwang, Xiaolongtong, Beizha, Qinggangling, Panhe and Sayu districts, as well as Dashanbao and Tianba districts in the western arm of the county. In Yongshan County, Wujia District contains the highest concentration of Wumeng. The Wumeng also inhabit parts of northern and northeastern Ludian County and much of Shanggaoqiao District of Daguan County." Although the Wumeng live close to the provincial border with Guizhou, they are believed to live exclusively within Yunnan 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: Wumeng
People Name General: Wumeng
Alternate People Names:
Wumeng Yi
ROP3 Code: 114348
Joshua Project People ID: 18713
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 52,000
Population all Countries: 52,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General: Wumeng
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Nasu, Wumeng (52,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ywu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity10.00 %(Evangelical: 9.90 %)
Ethnic Religions84.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious6.00 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
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

Wumeng in China

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

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