Yiche in China

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Yiche
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 25,000
World Population: 25,000
Primary Language: Hani
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.70 %
Evangelicals: 0.51 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Hani
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Yiche belong to the Hani nationality in China.

The world knows little about the origins of the Yiche people because they have never possessed a written script. The Yiche hand down legends orally from generation to generation. The Yiche say they were once part of a tribe of 7,000 families, living "on a vast fertile plain away in the east where the sun rises."

What Are Their Lives Like?

Yiche women wear shorts which is unique among all the peoples of China. They also wear conical hats, similar to the Jino people, and short-sleeved blue blouses held together by five-colored girdles. "They layer clothes one on top of each other, numbering from six to more than a dozen…. The layers indicate a family's financial standing. Women wear black shorts with pleats at the legs."

The Yiche build two story high houses which have tiled roofs. The upper floor serves as a storehouse and the lower floor as the living quarters. Every year in the fifth lunar month, the Yiche celebrate the Kuzhazha Festival. "According to traditional custom, every family must light pine torches after sunset. Burning torches in hand, they walk around the house to perform a 'mopping up' and then follow a forked chestnut rod to the top of the road outside the hamlet and place the torches beside the chestnut rod. This drives evil away from the house, ensuring the coming year is filled with peace and happiness."

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Yiche practice polytheism. "The Yiche worship many gods in temples in their villages. The Yiche associate these gods with the earth, water, and fire, as well as famous ancestors. Brothers of the same family commonly worship their dead parents at the eldest brother's house." On the lunar New Year's Eve, Yiche children hear stories about their ancestors and learn their family genealogies.

Some parts of Honghe Prefecture experienced a mass people movement to Christ in the 1940s in response to missionary efforts. During the Cultural Revolution, the government greatly persecuted the church. Many fledgling believers fell away, but others "conducted Sunday services in cattle stables or on mountain peaks." Today, Kado or Biyo represent the largest number of Christians and the Yiche represent a small number.

What Are Their Needs?

Like people everywhere, the Yiche 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 Yiche families, calling people to his side.

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

Pray for the Lord to send dreams and visions to Yiche elders, opening their communities to the saving work of Christ.

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

Text Source:   Joshua Project