Yanghuang in China

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Yanghuang
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 16,000
World Population: 16,000
Primary Language: T'en
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Bouyei
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Yanghuang have uncertain origin. Their language suggests a close historic affiliation with the Shui. They appear to have been two clans of Shui who migrated to the Bouyei areas in the past. After many generations of separation from the main bulk of Shui farther to the north and northeast, the Yanghuang gradually developed their own language and customs. The rest of the world knew very little about the southern part of Guizhou until the Japanese invaded China in the 1930s and the communists forced the Kuomintang armies to the south and southwestern parts of the country. There they constructed roads and railway lines through remote regions, which for centuries had been the unexplored domain of dozens of non-Han minority groups.

The official classification of the Yanghuang is a complicated matter. In the 1982 census, the Chinese government included the Yanghuang amongst the list of "undetermined minorities." By the time of the 1990 census, however, the government reclassified them as part of the Maonan nationality. The Yanghuang consist of a combination of two distinct ethnic groups, although they speak the same language. Consequently, the Yanghuang have two different ethnic names for themselves: Ten and Rao. It may be that the government has counted them as Maonan and the Rao as Shui. Yanghuang is the Chinese name for them and is the name all people in the region identify this group by.

The Yanghuang language is "very closely related to Shui." It may be the same language as Mo, although the speakers of Mo have a different ethnic identity. Most Yanghuang are bilingual in the local dialect of Chinese, and some can also speak Bouyei as a third language. The Yanghuang language does not have an orthography.

The Yanghuang people only live in China, specifically in Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Yanghuang lead peaceful lives among the verdant hills of southwestern China. The region was one of the most poverty-stricken in the country, but China's recent economic boom has helped the Yanghuang.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Yanghuang practice polytheism and animism. They believe their lives are controlled by a complex hierarchy of demons and gods who must be continually placated to ensure success and peace for the community.

The majority of Yanghuang people do not know the name of Jesus Christ. The few Christian missionaries who have visited them in recent years have reported a complete lack of any presence of Christianity among the Yanghuang. There has been a small breakthrough among the related Mo people in Libo County, who now have the first Christian church ever established among their people. It is hoped that the new Mo believers will be motivated and equipped to take the gospel to the linguistically related Yanghuang.

What Are Their Needs?

Like people everywhere, the Yanghuang 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 Yanghuang people to his side.

Pray for loving, Holy Spirit led workers to go to the Yanghuang people.

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

Text Source:   Joshua Project