Beidalao in China

Joshua Project has identified the Beidalao only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Beidalao have only recently been acknowledged by Chinese experts as a subgroup of the Yao minority. They were not noted in the 1982 census, when many of the smaller groups in China registered their names with the authorities. The Beidalao are one of eleven groups of Bunu people in southern China. The Bunu were then included under the Yao nationality by the authorities. Linguist Robert Ramsey explains the complications caused by this classification: "Yao is one of the most confused ethnic classifications in China. The many groups known by that name are scattered widely and have been influenced by many diverse peoples; there is very little in all of their cultures that is invariably and unmistakably the same. The 'Yao' call themselves by more than twenty different names."


Various scholars have speculated on the historical origins of the Yao and Miao peoples (including the Beidalao) who now live scattered across southern China and Southeast Asia. Egon Von Eickstedt has theorized that the Miao-Yao peoples and the Yi were originally part of the same Caucasian group in Central Asia, before they were driven from their homelands by drought in the first millennium BC. After living on the Tibetan Plateau for a time, they were compelled to move again to the empty lands in the south.


The Beidalao have lost the use of their own customs, and have replaced them with numerous customs and ceremonies borrowed from the peoples alongside whom they have lived for centuries. Even their clothing reflects the Dong and Miao who live in the Rongshui County area.


Animism and polytheism are the major religions among the Beidalao. They also worship their "close" ancestors to the third or fourth generation. "Distant" ancestors (i.e., more than four generations) are not worshiped regularly but are included at annual ceremonies.


The exact status of Christianity among the Beidalao needs to be clarified, but there are very few Christians of any kind in the areas where they live. Mission work prior to 1949 only scratched the surface in northern Guangxi before foreigners were forced to leave China.

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

People Name General Beidalao (Bay-dah-laow)
People Name in Country Beidalao
Population in China 25,000
World Population 25,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Beidalao (Bay-dah-laow)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 10765
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 Beidalao inhabit parts of Rong'an and Rongshui counties in the northern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Rong'an and Rongshui are heavily populated by Miao, Dong, Zhuang, and Han Chinese people..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Pa-Hng (25,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Pa-Hng 25,000
For Primary Language: Pa-Hng

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 0.01 %)
0.01 %
Ethnic Religions
97.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
2.99 %
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

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.