Khmu, Puman in China

Joshua Project has identified the Puman only in China

Population

21,500

Christian

0.00%

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Puman have been included as part of the Bulang nationality in China, although one linguist notes that they are "not very closely related." The Puman are not the same as the Hu, who live in the same general vicinity and speak a similar language.


History

The Puman are part of the great Mon-Khmer race of Asia. Over the centuries, the Mon-Khmer splintered into numerous groups and today are spread as far as India's Nicobar Islands and Indonesia.


Customs

Traditionally the Puman cast lots every year before a statue of Buddha to determine where they should farm. Puman women adorn themselves with colorful head scarfs, often decorated with pieces of silver in the shape of shells or fish. This has baffled experts since their region is located far from the coast.


Religion

The Puman are devoted members of the Theravada sect of Buddhism. In southwest China the Buddhists have many stories regarding the coming of a Savior, a blessed one who fits the description of Jesus Christ in many respects. Missionary William Clifton Dodd, who traveled extensively throughout the region in the 1930s, was intrigued to learn of some of the characteristics of this Theravada Buddhist messiah: "His coming is to be preceded by a falling away from the practice of religion, morality, and righteousness. His forerunner shall level every mountain, exalt every valley, make crooked places straight, and rough places smooth. ... Only the pure in heart and life shall be able to see him. But those who see are to be delivered from the thralldom of rebirth. He is to be recognized by his pierced hand. And his religion shall be introduced from the south [Christianity came into southern Yunnan from Thailand], by a man with a white face and a long beard [a description that fits both Donald McGilvary and Dr. Wilson - the first missionaries to bring the gospel to Xishuangbanna]."


Christianity

Despite their belief in a Savior, most Puman have yet to hear about Jesus Christ. Locked away in remote mountains and deep forests, few Christians have ever endeavored to take the gospel to them. Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China, stated, "This Bible is the one thing that can burn gates of brass and penetrate walls of rock. ... I can secretly translate and circulate this Book, with the confidence that its divine message will operate with divine power."



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

People Name General Puman
People Name in Country Khmu, Puman
Population in China 21,500
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kamhmu, Khmu, Ou, Phuman, P'uman, Tenh, U, Wa-la
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Puman
Ethnic Code AUG03z
Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country A 1988 source lists 3,000 speakers of the Puman language, which is also called U. Another source lists a much higher population of 12,000 Puman. The majority live west of the Lancang (Turbulent) River in Shuangjiang County in southern Yunnan Province. Several small Puman communities are scattered throughout other parts of southern Yunnan. Outside China, the Lancang River is known as the Mekong. The Mekong is the life-source for millions of people in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
U (22,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
U 22,000
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Largest Religion Buddhism
Buddhism
90.00%
Christianity
0.00%    ( Evangelical  0.00% )
Ethnic Religions
10.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Photo Source: Paul Noll
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.