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Wunai in China


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Wunai in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
13,000 Bunu, Wunai Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Wunai in China

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The Wunai are officially considered part of the Bunu branch of the Yao nationality in China. The term Bunu is a generic name and does not refer to a specific people group or language; it simply means "us people." The Wunai do not refer to themselves as Bunu but use the self-name Hm Nai, which has been transcribed Wunai by the Chinese. The Han also call them by the nickname Huayi (Flowery Shirt) Yao.

The various "Bunu" groups are believed to be the descendants of the "savage Wuling tribes" who lived about 2,000 years ago. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), agricultural skills developed among the ancestors of today's Wunai. They made "forged knives, indigo-dyed cloth and crossbow weaving machines."

The Zhuzhu Festival is a grand occasion among the Wunai. Zhuzhu means "to remember forever." The people remember and make offerings to Miluotuo who is considered the mother of their race. The Wunai are hard workers. In the evenings, after dinner, it is customary for the males of the house to gather around the fireplace to drink and discuss the day's activities.

The Wunai are worshipers of Pan Hu, who they believe to be the progenitor of their race. When a person dies, a shaman is quickly summoned to chant the "opening of the way" over the corpse. The chant helps the soul of the deceased find its way back through many obstacles and paths to the village where their ancestors have gone. The Wunai believe after dwelling there for a time the dead will be reincarnated and come back to the earth. In the past, Wunai communities were controlled by shamans, but this practice has been driven underground since the Cultural Revolution. One of the spirits Wunai shamans call up is the god of Archery. At the beginning of time, the Wunai believed there were nine suns encircling the earth that inflicted great discomfort on the people and caused the waters to evaporate. The god of Archery came and shot eight of the suns out of the sky with his bow.

The founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Cameron Townsend, once stated, "The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It never needs a furlough, is never considered a foreigner." The Wunai do not have the Word of God in their language. They are an unreached people group with no known Christians in their midst.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-07-04
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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:A 1987 report listed 7,000 speakers of the Wunai language. The Wunai are widely distributed in Chengbu, Xinning, Tongdao, Chenxi, Longhui, and Dongkou counties in the mountainous western part of Hunan Province. The 1982 census listed a figure of only 3,980 Wunai people.
(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: Wunai
People Name General: Wunai
Alternate People Names:
BunuHm Nai
Wunai Bunu
ROP3 Code: 114349
Joshua Project People ID: 18714
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 13,000
Population all Countries: 13,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Yao-Mien
People Name General: Wunai
Ethnic Code: MSY47b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bunu, Wunai (13,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bwn    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 Religions90.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious10.00 % 
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 0   No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to major evangelical print, audio, visual, or human resources
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

Wunai in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Yao-Mien     Asia, Northeast    
      Wunai China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Wunai in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Bunu, Wunai  
    All Religions                              

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