De'ang, Pale, Silver in China

Population

10,300

Christian

0.12%

Evangelical

0.12%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Shan State

Source Asia Harvest                                                Download

Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Pale De'ang are one of four distinct groups that have been combined to form the official De'ang nationality in China. In Myanmar, they are called Palaung. Palaung is a Burmese word. The Chinese authorities originally named this minority the Benglong - a Chinese transliteration of Palaung - but after consultation in 1982 they changed their name to De'ang.

A 1987 survey listed 6,000 speakers of the De'ang Pale language in China. They are located in Luxi County in the western part of Yunnan Province, close to the Myanmar border. The Pale area is just east of the Rumai. In addition, between 200,000 and 300,000 Pale live in northern Myanmar. More than 5,000 also live near Fang in northwest Thailand. They were war refugees from Myanmar in the early 1980s.

De'ang is a member of the Mon-Khmer language family. It is related to Bulang and Wa. Pale is the only one of the four De'ang languages that is not tonal. In Myanmar the Pale language is quite uniform despite its large geographical dispersion.


History

The De'ang were originally part of one great Austro-Asiatic race. It appears the De'ang and Wa shared a common identity in the past but split off from each other when the De'ang embraced Buddhism. The Wa remained animists.


Customs

Most De'ang are employed in agriculture, farming, and logging. Work tasks are assigned according to age and sex. The men perform demanding tasks such as plowing, while the women plant seeds and fetch water. The De'ang have been culturally influenced by their Dai neighbors and celebrate many of the same festivals.


Religion

Many centuries ago the De'ang converted to Theravada Buddhism. Their Buddhist practices are mixed with numerous animistic beliefs and rituals. Shamans, or witch doctors, are powerful figures in De'ang society. No important event is undertaken without first consulting a shaman. He goes into a trance to determine whether or not an event should occur and when the most auspicious date and time would be.


Christianity

The De'ang are considered relatively resistant to Christianity. The majority are trapped in fear of demons and shamans. Few missionaries in the past have tried to reach the De'ang in China. In 1945 work among them was described as "completely virgin soil." A handful of De'ang families in western Yunnan were converted before foreign missionaries were expelled from China in the early 1950s. Today, approximately one out of every thousand De'ang in Myanmar is a Christian. The few minor breakthroughs that have occurred among the Pale De'ang in Myanmar have often resulted in violent persecution and martyrdom. The Pale De'ang have gospel radio broadcasts and the Jesus film in their language. Although the broadcasts are focused on Myanmar, it is believed listeners are also able to receive the shortwave signal in China.



Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
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Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country West Yunnan, Dehong Prefecture, Luxi County, east of Rumai
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People Name General Palaung, Silver
People Name in Country De'ang, Pale, Silver
ROP3 Code 109011
Joshua Project People ID 14178
Indigenous Yes
Population in China 10,300
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group Benglong, Bonglong, Bonglung, Bulei, Darang, Deang, De'ang Pale, Manton, Nam Hsan, Ngwe, Ngwe Palaung, Palaung, Pale Palaung, Palong, PalPalay, Penglung, Silver, Silver Palaung, Southern Ta'ang, Taang,
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Palaung, Ruching 10,340
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Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Palaung, Silver
Ethnic Code AUG03z
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Largest Religion Buddhism
Buddhism
99.00%
Christianity
0.12%    ( Evangelical  0.12% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
0.88%
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: Robert at PhotoBase
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center Copyrighted ©: Yes
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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