Baonuo in China

Joshua Project has identified the Baonuo only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Baonuo are commonly called Baiku Yao (White Pants Yao) by the Chinese. They are so named because the men wear white trousers. Far from being different merely because of their clothing, however, the Baonuo also possess their own ethnicity and speak their own distinct language.


The Baonuo have this fascinating account of why they wear their distinctive clothing: A tribal headman once sent troops to attack the Baonuo's villages, intending to exterminate them. The Baonuo king led his troops out in battle to resist the invasion. "The headman's armies were stronger and drove the Baiku [Baonuo] back into the mountains. The king himself was severely wounded. Being trapped in the mountains with no escape, an old villager pointed out a path on the cliff which led down the mountains. When the king heard this he was overjoyed, and happily slapped his knees. His two bleeding hands left five-fingered bloody hand-prints on both his trouser legs. While breaking through the enemy troops, his trouser legs below the knees were torn to shreds. The king eventually died from his wounds, but the Baiku [Baonuo] commemorate him by wearing knee-length trousers with bloody hand-prints sewn in with red yarn."


On the back of Baonuo women's blouses are square patterns representing King Pan's agreement with the Chinese to release the Yao from having to pay tax. The Baonuo say they were once cannibals. When someone died, they cut the corpse up and ate it. Since the suggestion of a small boy named Laga, who could not bear to see his own mother eaten, the Baonuo have killed a bull instead.


At funerals the Baonuo hold a traditional bull-beheading ceremony. "Thirty or more brass drums are hung from a frame. The Baiku [Baonuo] consider their brass drums sacred. They are normally hidden away except for special occasions. An offering of wine, meat, rice and water is performed by the head of the family. After the drum beating a large water buffalo is beheaded, with four or five strokes of sharp knives."


The Baonuo are an isolated and primitive people, most of whom have never heard of the name of Jesus, although a small number have believed in Christ in recent years. The Baonuo live in extremely remote villages and are terrified of outsiders. Several foreigners who visited a Baonuo village in the mid-1980s, without prior notice, were stoned to death. Baonuo gospel recordings were first produced in 1999.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Baonuo (Baow-nuoh)
People Name in Country Baonuo
Population in China 32,000
World Population 32,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Baiku, Baiku Yao, Na Klao, Nao Gelao, Nao Klao, Ngao Klao, Pou Nuo, White Pants Yao, White Trouser Yao
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Baonuo (Baow-nuoh)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 10669
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Baonuo are the largest Yao group in Guizhou Province. More than 10,000 are located in Libo County in the southern part of the province. Guizhou contained a total of 19,400 Yao people in 1990. In addition, about 10,000 Baonuo inhabit the mountains of Nandan, Hechi, and Tian'e counties in the northern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bunu, Bu-Nao: Naogelao (32,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bunu, Bu-Nao: Naogelao 32,000
For Primary Language: Bunu, Bu-Nao

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.30 %)
0.40 %
Ethnic Religions
94.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.60 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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