Bulang in China





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Jungles of Southern Yunnan

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

Several smaller ethnolinguistic people groups have been combined by the Chinese to form the official Bulang nationality in China. Other peoples include the Angku, Puman, Kong Ge, and Samtao tribal groups.

The Bulang language has great linguistic variety. One survey found as many as ten dialects spoken in just one Bulang refugee village in Thailand. Only 24,000 (29%) people counted under the Bulang nationality in China can actually speak Bulang; 30,000 (36%) speak Lawa. Two different Roman orthographies exist for the Bulang in China: one is called to-tham and is used by the Bulang in Xishuangbanna; the other, to-lek, is used in the region between Dehong and Lincang.


The Bulang traditionally lived in small clans, according to ancestral affiliations. Each clan possessed its own land and each member of the clan was responsible to work and harvest the crops. If a family moved away from the area, it forfeited its right to own land or reap the benefits from the produce. Each Bulang village has its own cemetery where the dead of each family line are buried. The corpses of those who die from unnatural circumstances are cremated.


Bulang are renowned as friendly people. The older women love to chew betel nut, which they spit out into the dirt in copious quantities. Betel nut stains their teeth black; this is considered a mark of beauty among the Bulang.


For centuries the Bulang have been ardent followers of Theravada Buddhism. Most of their villages are located alongside Tai people, who adhere to the same religion. Temples and idols are located throughout their communities. Many Bulang men enter the Buddhist monkhood, which brings great honor to their families. Few Bulang have ever heard of Christ, and few care to seek for anything beyond what they already believe. They strive to observe the Buddhist Tripitika (Three Baskets) teaching: practicing selfdiscipline, preaching, and discussing doctrine. The Bulang believe that right thinking, sacrifices, and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana, a state of eternal bliss.


The few evangelistic efforts that have focused on the Bulang have usually been discontinued by mission groups who invariably found a much more willing reception to their message from other groups in the area. Protestant work among the Bulang prior to 1949 resulted in 30 families being converted. Most of them gave up their faith during the oppressive Cultural Revolution, but there are about 50 Bulang Christians remaining in China today. Bulang translation work has begun in Thailand, but the Bulang in China will not be able to understand the script.

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

People Name General Bulang (Boo-lang)
People Name in Country Bulang
Population in China 103,000
World Population 119,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bang, Blang, Braang, Brang, Bulang, Col, Hkawa, Kala, Kawa, Khon Do, Khon Doi, Kkawa, Kontoi, K'wa, Plaang, Plang, Prong, Pula, Pulang, Saamtaav, Samtao, Samtuan, Sen Chun, Tai Loi, Wa
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Bulang (Boo-lang)
Ethnic Code AUG03z
People ID 12665
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 Approximately 80,000 Bulang live in southwest China. An additional 1,200 live in Thailand, and between 1,000 and 2,000 in Myanmar. The Bulang live in villages high up on thickly forested mountain slopes. They are located in several counties in Yunnan Province, especially Menghai and Shuangjiang. The Bulang in Thailand call themselves Khon Doi which means "mountain people.".   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Blang: Phang Samtao
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Blang: Phang Samtao
For Primary Language: Blang

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2015)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film Film / Video
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Theravada

Major Religion Percent
90.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.06 %)
0.06 %
Ethnic Religions
9.94 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
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: Anonymous  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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