Ta'er in China

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Ta'er
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,400
World Population: 1,400
Primary Language: Language unknown
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Ta'er are one of the smallest and least-known branches of the official Yi nationality in China. Other small Yi groups in Ninglang County include the Tagu and Talu peoples. Although linguistically and culturally related, each of these three groups views itself as being distinct from the others.

In the past the Ta'er were oppressed by the Xiaoliangshan Nosu who took the Ta'er as slaves and continually raided their villages. False charges were often laid against the Ta'er, and the Nosu would demand full retribution. As a result, the Ta'er are an impoverished people, with few possessions and a low self-esteem. Even though the slavery system was officially abolished by the communist government in the late 1950s, the social stigma and class prejudice still exists today.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Because of their small numbers, the Ta'er have been forced to intermarry with the Han Chinese and other people groups in recent decades. Prior to liberation, the Xiaoliangshan Nosu were strictly forbidden to marry their slaves, under pain of death. Most Ta'er families are hard-working agriculturists. When a Ta'er girl becomes engaged to be married, she is allowed to "wander the hills" and sleep with her former boyfriends. After this time she is expected to settle down and be faithful to her husband.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Ta'er believe that after death the soul of the deceased flies to heaven and becomes a star. The Ta'er have a centuries-old system of spirit worship which carefully appeases a host of vengeful demons. The Ta'er also worship their ancestors, especially those who have died within the past three generations.

Although missionary work was conducted extensively among Yi groups in the Wuding and Luquan areas of northern Yunnan and in parts of central and northeast Yunnan, few or no foreign missionaries have ever worked in Ninglang County. As a result, the Ta'er have no knowledge of the gospel today, and no access to a Christian witness.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ta'er people need to put their trust and identity in the hands of the loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.

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 the Ta'er 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