Iu Mien in China

Population

1,259,000

Christian

0.70%

Evangelical

0.15%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Iu Mien are the largest of the groups who form the official Yao nationality in China. This group calls themselves Iu Mien or simply Mien, but in China they are widely known by their Chinese name Pan Yao. Little was known about this isolated group until recent years. In 1937 one traveler commented, "In these lofty areas are the aboriginal tribes called the Iu people, the 'Red Indians' of China. They are yet to be studied in detail."

The Iu Mien language is remarkably uniform considering the wide dispersion of its speakers. In 1987, Iu Mien able to speak their language numbered 692,000. The remainder now speak Chinese.


History

The Iu Mien have a long history of fleeing oppression. This explains why the Chinese sometimes call them the Guoshan (Crossing the Mountains) Yao. Linguist Herbert Purnell explains, "The Iu Mien have been profoundly influenced by the Chinese over many centuries of contact. Perhaps the most significant development from these contacts has been the evolution and preservation of Taoist rituals written in Chinese characters. The Iu Mien have therefore possessed for several centuries what many other Asian peoples only dream of - an extensive written literature."


Customs

The Han Chinese call the Iu Mien Pan Yao after their legendary ancestor and pioneer of the Yao race, Pan Hu.6 Pan can be traced in historical Chinese records as far back as the fifth century AD. The Chronicles of the Later Han Dynasty ("Hou Han Shu") "tells the story of Pan Hu, the pet dog of Emperor Gao Xin (2435-2365 BC) who killed his lord's arch-enemy, General Wu, the chief of the Quan Rong tribe. The dog was rewarded by marrying a young princess." Their descendants, known as "the race of Pan Hu," became the forefathers of the Iu Mien. At some time the Imperial Court issued The King Ping's Charter. This proclamation was designed to reward the Yao by perpetually releasing them from paying taxes.


Religion

The Iu Mien are Daoists who also worship their ancestors. They believe Pan created the heavens and the earth. "After the death of King Pan the feudal court allowed his descendants to worship and make a picture of him with human features."


Christianity

Although one source estimates 10,000 Iu Mien/Yao Christians in China, the true number is probably much lower. In recent years, at least 1,000 "Red Head" Yao (an Iu Mien group) living in Jinping County, Yunnan Province, have come to Christ because of FEBC gospel radio broadcasts in their language.



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

People Name General Iu Mien
People Name in Country Iu Mien
Population in China 1,259,000
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dao, Guangxi-Yunnan, Guoshan, Guoshan Yao, Highland Yao, Man, Mian, Mien, Myen, Pan Yao, Yao, Yiu Mien, Youmian, Yumian
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Iu Mien
Ethnic Code MSY47b
Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country More than 980,000 Iu Mien live scattered across four provinces (and approximately 150 counties) of southern China. The majority are located in Guangxi, where the Iu Mien comprise 50% (615,000 people) of the total Yao population. Others are scattered in parts of Yunnan, Guizhou and Jiangxi provinces. An additional 400,000 Iu Mien live in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Iu Mien refugee communities are also found in several Western nations.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Iu Mien (Unknown) Tai Hongjin (Unknown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Iu Mien Tai Hongjin
Largest Religion Ethnic Religions
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
0.70%    ( Evangelical  0.15% )
Ethnic Religions
94.30%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
5.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
100.00%
Protestant
0.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
0.00%
Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
Get Involved
Register ministry activity for this group

Copyright © 2014 Joshua Project. A ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission.