Boyu Tibetan in China

The Boyu Tibetan have only been reported in China
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Boyu Tibetans are a distinct ethnolinguistic people group. The Boyu are ethnolinguistically distinct from other Tibetans in the area. As one visitor remarked, "their language and costume is now very different from Tibetans elsewhere." During festivals, Boyu women wear special dress, unique among all Tibetan peoples. "A breastplate is made of around five to six thousand coral beads, and an enormous silver medallion at waist level - known as meilong. ... The body of the medallion is scattered with motifs executed in colored enamels, including Tibetan Buddhist symbols and talismans to ward off evil spirits."

The Boyu women's special costume "is thought to be associated in some way with the army of Tubo, the Tibetan kingdom which was founded by Songtsen Gampo in 629 and lasted for around two hundred years. ... Legend has it that the forebears of the Boyu Tibetans were soldiers from the hinterland of Tibet who were sent to guard the border areas. However, they began to farm the land and eventually decided to settle there."


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Flower-Gathering Festival of the Boyu is unique to this one small area. It takes place annually on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. "They believe if they drink the spring water on the mountain before the sun touches it ... it will keep them free from disease. And if they bathe in the water, all evil will be kept from them."


What Are Their Beliefs?

During the Flower-Gathering Festival the Boyu worship Lianzhi, the goddess of flowers. One of their legends relates that the Boyu lived in abject poverty in ancient times. Touched by their misery, "the gods eventually took pity and sent a young girl, Lianzhi, from heaven to teach them how to reclaim land and grow crops, how to spin and weave cloth. This went on until one year ... she went into the mountains to gather flowers ... and never came back. The people made offerings to her and named her the Goddess of Flowers."

There are only a handful of known Christians among the Boyu Tibetans today, although the Christian and Missionary Alliance worked in nearby Min Xian prior to 1949. The missionaries, who first arrived in 1889, included William Christie, W. W. Simpson, Robert Ekvall, Calvin Snyder, and William Ruhl.


What Are Their Needs?

Like people everywhere, the Boyu Tibetan people need to allow the loving Savior to direct their lives. They need his forgiveness for sin.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.

Pray for loving workers.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.


Scripture Prayers for the Tibetan, Boyu in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2020/08/17


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-07-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-08-17
People Name General Tibetan, Boyu
People Name in Country Tibetan, Boyu
Natural Name Boyu Tibetan
Pronunciation BOH-yoo ti-BEH-ten
Population this Country 4,300
Population all Countries 4,300
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Boyu
People ID 18696
ROP3 Code 114327
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
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 The Boyu Tibetans live in the large Boyu Village in Zhugqu County. Zhugqu is within the Gaanan Prefecture in poverty-stricken Gansu Province. They live atop a 3,000- meter-high (9,840 ft.) mountain. "Boyu is located at the heart of a complex of high peaks and deep ravines, and the paths along which they climb lead through magnificent scenery… dotted with all kinds of flowers: azaleas, camellias, peonies, wolf-berries."   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
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 The Boyu Tibetans live in the large Boyu Village in Zhugqu County. Zhugqu is within the Gaanan Prefecture in poverty-stricken Gansu Province. They live atop a 3,000- meter-high (9,840 ft.) mountain. "Boyu is located at the heart of a complex of high peaks and deep ravines, and the paths along which they climb lead through magnificent scenery… dotted with all kinds of flowers: azaleas, camellias, peonies, wolf-berries.".   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Primary Language Tibetan, Central (4,300 speakers)
Language Code bod   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tibetan, Central (4,300 speakers)
Language Code bod   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tibetan, Central

Primary Language:  Tibetan, Central

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1862-1991)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1885-1973)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1948-1983)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
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
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Creation to Christ Create International
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Good News for You Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tibetan, Central Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Phim Create International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store Faith Comes by Hearing
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Tibetan, Central YouVersion Bibles
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
30.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.60 %)
0.60 %
Ethnic Religions
68.40 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
1.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Bryan Nicholson / cartoMission  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more