Poluo in China

Photo Source:  Paul Noll 
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Poluo
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 33,000
World Population: 33,000
Primary Language: Pholo
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.10 %
Evangelicals: 0.04 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Despite their large population, very little is known about the Poluo, who are officially counted as part of the Yi nationality. The Poluo have never before been listed in ethnographic or linguistic lists from China. One researcher has stated, "The Poluo never refer to themselves as 'Yi' in their own language; instead, Poluo is used. The Han Chinese in their areas are also apt to call this people Pu instead of Yi. The title Yi is virtually meaningless in reference to this people."

The Poluo are one of the most far-flung Yi groups in China today. They are believed to be the descendants of a large tribe that splintered into numerous ethnic groups during migrations many centuries ago.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Poluo houses are customarily built near streams or rivers to allow easy access to water. Bamboo pipes are arranged to carry the water into the village. Many Poluo live in extremely remote locations at the top of isolated mountains.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of Poluo still adhere to the superstitions of animism, polytheism and ancestor worship. In some locations a festival is observed on a dragon or ox day of the second lunar month. Each village chooses a day, and all the people gather around a large tree to hold a ceremony in worship of the dragon. The Poluo, along with many other peoples classified as Yi, believe the dragon is responsible for rainfall and other natural phenomena. They hope to appease the dragon in order to quell floods and prevent drought.

What Are Their Needs?

The Poluo need to be reached by Christians who will show them the love of Jesus,

and help bring them out of darkness and into his light.

Prayer Points

Ask God to begin preparing their hearts to hear about Jesus and give the Poluo people deep understanding.
Ask God to send caring Christians to teach them how to follow Jesus.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move mightily among Poluo elders and family leaders.
Pray for Poluo disciples who will disciple many others.

Text Source:   Joshua Project