Ao Biao in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ao Biao only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Ao Biao have been officially included under the Yao nationality in China. Ao Biao is their autonym. The Chinese call them Ao Yao, which means "Yao of the plateau". They are one of five different branches of Yao people in the Dayao Mountains, "all speaking different languages and each having its own peculiar customs and living habits." Each group firmly believes it is ethnically and historically distinct from the others. The Ao Biao do not like to intermarry with other Yao people.


The Ao Biao share the belief of many Yao groups that they are descended from the dragon-dog Pan Hu. The Ao Biao claim to be one of the original inhabitants of the mountains, having migrated from Guizhou via Bai Se and Nanning. The Ao Biao possess most of the best land in the mountains. They live in brick and wood homes in villages concentrated near the rivers. By the time the Iu Mien and Kim Mun groups arrived in the region, they were forbidden to own land and had to live in bamboo sheds. In addition, they were forced to pay rent and render manual labor to the Ao Biao and to the other groups already established in the area.


The Ao Biao have a legend about a great flood that destroyed the earth long ago, and about the repopulation of the earth. In part, it states: "All the people in the world have been drowned by the flood. ... We brother and sister got married. After being true husband and wife for a few years, on the seventh morning the flower entered her body."


The Ao Biao are one of the few minorities of China who adhere to the religion of Daoism. Fearsome pictures of Daoist deities are posted on the walls and doors of most of their homes. Gruesome religious masks are used in their ceremonies and festivals. The Ao Biao also worship their ancestors, believing any action that goes against centuries of tradition will insult the spirits of their forefathers. Each year the Ao Biao participate in the Pan Hu Festival, an occasion of great significance in the community. The Ao Biao dress in their best traditional clothing for the ceremony. Here the youth have an opportunity to meet prospective partners.


The Ao Biao are a relatively unreached people group, although in 1996 the first known penetration of the gospel among them occurred. A Hong Kong-based ministry won approximately 30 Ao Biao and Iu Mien believers to Christ in Jinxiu County.

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

People Name General Ao Biao (Aow-Beeow)
People Name in Country Ao Biao
Population in China 17,000
World Population 17,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Ao, Ao Yao, Au, Au Byau
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Ao Biao (Aow-Beeow)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 18397
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 More than 12,000 Ao Biao people inhabit the Dayaoshan (Big Yao Mountains) of Jinxiu County in the central part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Ao Biao are not located in any other part of China..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Biao-Jiao Mien: Biao Min (17,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Biao-Jiao Mien: Biao Min 17,000
For Primary Language: Biao-Jiao Mien

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.40 %)
0.40 %
Ethnic Religions
94.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.60 %
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: 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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