A Che in China

Joshua Project has identified the A Che only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



Despite the similarities in their names, the A Che are not the same as the Azhe people, another Yi subgroup located in Yunnan Province. The Azhe live in Mile and Yimen counties farther to the east and speak a different Southeastern Yi dialect. Because of their inclusion in the artificially constructed Yi nationality (made up of more than 100 distinct groups), the A Che are mostly unknown to outsiders. However, they were mentioned in the 1953 national census of China. The A Che do not believe they are related to other Yi groups, in much the same way many of the numerous Native American tribes in the United States do not consider themselves historically, culturally, or ethnically related to each other.


Despite their marked present-day linguistic differences, the A Che and the Azhe share similar origins. They say they migrated south to Jianshui County during the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907). They were enlisted in the armies of the Luodian Kingdom. After settling in Jianshui for a time, some crossed the mountains into Yimen and Shuangbai counties where they gradually evolved to become the A Che.


There are two important festivals unique to the A Che of Shuangbai County. The Open Street Festival is held every eighth day of the first lunar month in Damaidi District, and the Dragon Worship Festival is held on the second day of the second lunar month in Fadian Community of Yulong District.


The A Che are polytheists. In the past, they claim they were closer to the gods, but then their line of communication with the Creator was broken. Therefore, they are now unable to enter heaven.


Hidden away in some of the most remote areas of southwest China, the A Che are known to few outsiders. As a result, they are a completely unreached and unevangelized people. They have also never appeared in mission lists of people groups. The vast Chuxiong Prefecture experiences very little Christian witness. Added to the difficult task of reaching this group is the A Che's inability to read or speak Chinese. Evangelists to the A Che face a daunting communication challenge.

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

People Name General A Che
People Name in Country A Che
Population in China 41,000
World Population 41,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names A-Che
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General A Che
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18385
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 35,000 A Che people predominantly live in Shuangbai (23,000) and Yimen (11,100) counties in the eastern part of Yunnan Province's Chuxiong Prefecture. Other A Che villages spill over into Lufeng and Eshan counties in Yuxi Prefecture. Most of the A Che in Shuangbai County are extremely isolated. In Yuxi Prefecture, on the other hand, some A Che villages are a mere five kilometers (three mi.) from Yimen City..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Ache (41,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ache 41,000
For Primary Language: Ache

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

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
98.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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