Bulang in Myanmar (Burma)

Main Language
Largest Religion
Buddhism (Theravada)
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Bulang people live in three different countries. Bulang history in China dates back as early as AD 220. The majority live in Yunnan Province, China—especially in Menghai, Zhenkang, Shuangjiang, Lincang, Lancang and Mojiang counties. In China their villages are often located in extremely remote mountains, some three or four days' walk from the nearest road.
Eastern Shan State in Myanmar is home to Bulang, especially in the Mong Yang area and near the city of Kengtung. Of the three countries inhabited by the Bulang, Thailand has the smallest number. Approximately 200 Bulang work as gardeners in Bangkok. The Bulang in Thailand fled China in the 1960s because of persecution from the Communist authorities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Bulang language is of great interest to scholars because of its uniqueness and variety. It is a part of the Mon-Khmer linguistic family, related to Wa and Palaung. Despite the relatively small population, the Bulang in China use two different alphabetic scripts: the Totham script is used in the Xishuangbanna Prefecture, while the Tolek script is used in Dehong Prefecture. Among the small number of Bulang in Thailand there is remarkable linguistic variety, with one report listing between six and ten dialects spoken in just one Bulang refugee village.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For centuries the Bulang have been ardent followers of Theravada Buddhism. They were first converted by their Lu and Tai Mao neighbours. Today, 'Temples and idols are scattered throughout their communities. Many Bulang men enter the Buddhist monkhood, which brings great honour to their families. Few Bulang have ever heard of Christ, and few care to seek for anything beyond what they already believe. They strive to observe the Buddhist tripitaka (three baskets) teaching: self-discipline, preaching and discussing doctrine. The Bulang believe that right thinking, sacrifices and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana, a state of eternal bliss.'
Most Bulang also observe animistic rituals. Since the arrival of Buddhism they have cloaked their spirit worship with a veneer of Buddhist teachings, but they still fear and appease a large number of spirits. When a Bulang person dies, the family members of the deceased 'kill a chicken to call back the soul of the deceased, bath the body, dress it in new clothes and finally wrap it in white sheets. The [animistic] Bulang usually bury the dead in a wooden coffin on their village burial ground. The Buddhist Bulang, however, burn their deceased community members at the temple compound. '

What Are Their Needs?

There are perhaps 100 Bulang Christians today: 50 in China and a few dozen in Myanmar and Thailand. Protestant missionaries reached out to the Bulang in China prior to the Communist takeover in 1949, and 30 families were converted. Most of them gave up their faith during the horrific persecution of the Cultural Revolution.

Prayer Points

Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Bulang people for Jesus and that in God’s sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Bulang people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
Pray for the lives and culture of the Bulang people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Scripture Prayers for the Bulang in Myanmar (Burma).


Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

The Jungles of Southern Yunnan

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

People Name General Bulang
People Name in Country Bulang
Pronunciation BOO-lang
Alternate Names Bang; Blang; Braang; Brang; Col; Hkawa; Kala; Kawa; Khon Do; Khon Doi; Kkawa; Kontoi; K'wa; Plaang; Plang; Prong; Pula; Pulang; Saamtaav; Samtao; Samtuan; Sen Chun; Tai Loi; Wa
Population this Country 15,000
Population all Countries 121,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 6  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12665
ROP3 Code 104959
ROP25 Code 301454
ROP25 Name Bulang, Blang
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Shan State: Mong Yang and Kengtung townships.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Shan State: Mong Yang and Kengtung townships..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Bulang in Myanmar (Burma) Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Buddhism (Theravada)
Major Religion Percent
94.10 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.80 %)
1.90 %
Ethnic Religions
4.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Blang (15,000 speakers)
Language Code blr   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Blang (15,000 speakers)
Language Code blr   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Blang

Primary Language:  Blang

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1998-2015)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2020-2021)
Bible-Complete No
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Blang Jesus Film Project
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Blang YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Blang YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Fabio Nodari - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Video Source Asia Harvest
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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