Gha-Mu in China

Joshua Project has identified the Gha-Mu only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Gha-Mu are widely known as the Small Flowery Miao in Chinese and mission literature. The Small Flowery Miao (Gha-Mu) are not the same people group, nor do they speak the same language, as the Big Flowery Miao (A-Hmao) of Guizhou and Yunnan. The names were given to these groups by the Chinese last century. They do not use the word flowery in their autonym, which is Gha-Mu, and which may be a cognate for the name Hmong used by many Western Miao tribes and peoples. The Gha-Mu have small, complex geometrical shapes embroidered on their clothing around the shoulders and waist.


There are many flood legends among the Gha-Mu. They believe that when the Thunder god threatened to destroy the earth with a deluge, a man called A-Zie "hollowed out a large gourd for himself, collected a hundred kinds and a thousand sorts of seeds, and put them in a smaller gourd." They believe that from A-Zie came all the peoples of the earth, including the many different branches of today's Miao nationality.


The Gha-Mu observe the Tiaohuapo Festival each March. "For the marriageable young of both sexes ... it is one of their main chances to find a possible spouse. The young men decorate themselves with hats with long pheasant feathers." In the past, bandits raided remote Gha-Mu villages in Nayong County. The Gha-Mu had no weapons with which to defend themselves so they used sticks. Today, to remember their bravery, Gha-Mu maidens perform a Painted Stick Dance during their festivals.


The Gha-Mu call the spirit world bi-lao, a general term "including gods, specters, ghosts, elves, demons, and any other supernatural media. While some bilao are kind and act as bodyguards, most are evil and compared to thieves. These malevolent bi-lao are indifferent to human feelings and are continually seeking ways to cause harm to people." Today the great majority of the Gha-Mu are reported to have converted to Christianity.


The first Protestant missionary to the Gha-Mu was J. R. Adam who commenced work near Anshun in 1899. Just as a breakthrough in the work was starting to occur, a military official and a village headman went through the region, threatening people with death if they joined the "foreign religion." The floodwaters were ready to break, however, and by 1907 the number of believers numbered 1,200. Despite severe persecution in the 1960s and 1970s, the Gha-Mu believers today are a vibrant and effective Christian community of approximately 80,000.

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

People Name General Gha-Mu (Ghah-Moo)
People Name in Country Gha-Mu
Population in China 140,000
World Population 140,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Blue Hmong, Green Hmong, Hmong Lay, Hmong Njua, Hmong Sib, Hsiao Hwa Miao, Miao, Small Flowery, Small Flowery Miao, Xiao Hua Miao
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Miao / Hmong
People Name General Gha-Mu (Ghah-Moo)
Ethnic Code MSY47a
People ID 11877
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 A 1995 study listed a 1990 population of 84,000 Gha-Mu in China. They are located in Shuicheng, Nayong, Zhenning, Guanling, and Hezhang counties in the western part of Guizhou Province. The main center for the Gha-Mu is Nayong County. The area is cold in the winter, with frequent snowfall and frosts..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hmong Daw: Mong Leng Miao, Small Flowery
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hmong Daw: Mong Leng Miao, Small Flowery
For Primary Language: Miao, Small Flowery

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

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 50.00 %)
80.00 %
Ethnic Religions
17.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
3.00 %
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
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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