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Pana in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
5,300 Phana' Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Pana in China

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The Pana are an ethnic subgroup of the Akha who, in turn, have been officially placed under the Hani nationality in China. Because of this classification, few people know about the Pana, who view themselves as a distinct people group. In many areas today it has become difficult to tell the Pana apart from the Tai Lu.

The Pana now living in Laos say they migrated from China eight generations ago, under the authority of a Chinese leader named Lateu Kouang. They first arrived in the Viangphoukha District of Laos before settling down in their present locations. In China the Pana came under the control of the Xishuangbanna Tai Lu rulers in the past, who extracted tax and tribute from them.

Traditionally the Pana settled in the remote mountains, where they lived peacefully without trouble from other ethnic groups. The past 35 years in Laos have seen a number of Pana migrate down to the plains and valleys, where they have learned to grow irrigated crops. Despite their small population, at least three separate clan divisions exist among the Pana - each named after a sacred kind of bird, which the members of that clan are not allowed to kill. Most Pana no longer wear their traditional style of dress, except during festivals and other important occasions such as weddings and funerals.

Spirit worship and ancestor worship are practised by the Pana. In many respects the Pana rituals mirror those of their Akha neighbors and relatives, although it appears they do not follow the Akhazang system that is a dominant feature of the Akha throughout Southeast Asia.

Although few outsiders have ever heard of the Pana ethnic group of southern China and northern Laos, the Christian ministry Gospel Recordings in 1967 produced a cassette tape message of the good news in the Pana language. Unfortunately, because of the relative obscurity of the Pana, few mission organizations have ever made use of this resource to take the gospel to the Pana in their own language. Today, there are no known Christians among the Pana in either China or Laos. There are very few believers among any of the ethnic groups in Mengla County.

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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:Several thousand ethnic Pana, or Bana, live in the extreme southern part of China along the border with Laos. The Pana live in Mengla County within the Xishuangbanna Prefecture in southwest Yunnan Province. An additional 350 Pana inhabit three villages in northern Laos. Two villages, Bopiet and Namtoung, are located in the Luang Namtha District of Luang Namtha Province, while one Pana village is in the Houaxay District of Bokeo Province near the Golden Triangle.
(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: Pana
People Name General: Phana
ROP3 Code: 114840
Joshua Project People ID: 18892
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 5,300
Population all Countries: 5,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Hani
People Name General: Phana
Ethnic Code: MSY50i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Phana' (5,300 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): phq    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 Religions98.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious2.00 % 
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

Pana in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Hani     Asia, Northeast    
      Phana China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Pana in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Phana'  
    All Religions                              

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