Qiang, Dajishan in China

Qiang, Dajishan
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Qiang, Dajishan
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 12,000
World Population: 12,000
Primary Language: Qiang, Southern
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Qiang are one of the oldest and most famous of China's peoples. In ancient times they numbered 62 different tribes. Today's official Qiang nationality is a collection of 11 different tribes and languages, including the Dajishan Qiang. Numerous references to the Qiang tribes, dating back 4,000 years, are found in Chinese history. Sandwiched between the wild, warlike Tibetans to the west and the expanding Chinese to the east, these various nomadic tribes came to be known as the Qiang, a name that one source says means "herdsmen."

Linguist James Matisoff in 1991 discovered there to be "9 or 10 Qiangic languages." The Qiang have a legend of once possessing a script and "lost book" of their own. Dajishan Qiang is part of the Southern Qiang linguistic group. One linguist says, "Southern Qiang has been divided by researchers into five sub-dialects (including Dajishan) which are considered to be too divergent from each other to permit communication between people from different villages."

What Are Their Lives Like?

Almost all Qiang weddings and festivals are scheduled during the tenth month of the year. On the eve of the wedding day the bridegroom's family will send a "gift-bearer" to the bride's home with presents. After the wedding feast, which may last up to ten hours, the custom of "singing in the hall" commences. "The bride, whose face is veiled by a handkerchief, will first sing a song to bid farewell to her parents and thank them for her upbringing. She is then followed by the bridesmaids who will sing a song persuading her to go to the groom and live with him as man and wife."

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Qiang are polytheists. "They believe that everything on earth - the earth itself, the sky, the sun, trees, fire, saplings, doors, even cauldron supports, pillars, white stones etc. - has a soul and they are all to be worshipped. They have no idols of any deity but choose a kind of milk-white stone as the symbol of all deities. Usually on the back wall on the top floor of every house there are five white stones representing deities of Heaven, Earth and Mountains."

Thomas F. Torrance, from Scotland, was the first Protestant missionary among the Qiang. He served with the China Inland Mission from 1895 to 1909 and then with the American Bible Society until the 1930s. Torrance reported, "scores and scores of Christian converts among these tribesmen, especially in the Wenchuan and Weizhou [Maoxian] areas, and seven meeting places established around Tongmenwai." There are several hundred Qiang believers today, but it is unclear if any are from the Dajishan Qiang language group who live in Lixian County.

What Are Their Needs?

The Dajishan Qiang people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers in John 10:10.

Prayer Points

Pray for the spiritual blindness and bondage to the evil one to be removed so they can understand and respond to Christ.

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love.

Pray that the Dajishan Qiang people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project