Ban Yao in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ban Yao only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Ban Yao are officially considered part of the large Yao minority group. Although they recognize historical kinship with the Yao peoples, the Ban Yao now have their own customs, dress, and language. They are unable to use their own language to communicate with other Yao groups in Yunnan, and must speak Chinese to communicate.


Military campaigns were waged by the Chinese during the Hong Wu (1368-1398) and the Jia Qing (1522-1566) periods of the Ming Dynasty, causing the Ban Yao to migrate to their present location. The campaigns were often launched because the Yao refused to pay taxes. They claimed that they were once granted Imperial privilege to avoid taxes from generation to generation, a fact clearly enshrined in their special document, The King Ping's Charter, or The Register for Crossing the Mountains.


Until recently, a young Ban Yao man wishing to take a wife had to pay a price for her. Betrothal was therefore little more than a negotiation of the bride-price. The price was divided into three different levels, 72, 60, and 48 ounces of silver, depending on the beauty and health of the young woman. The young woman's parents kept their daughter until the price had been paid in full, in case the young man might refuse to pay after having "received the goods." Some Ban Yao share communal family homes with many of their relatives. The oldest living male is considered the head of the household.


The Ban Yao are primarily worshipers of nature and the spirits that they believe control it. They believe demons dwell inside large mountains, and the fate of people's lives is linked to whether the spirits are pleased with them or not.


There are no known Christians among the Ban Yao, although about one-fifth are aware of the gospel through the witness of the small number of Hmong and Han believers who live in Funing County. Evangelization of the Ban Yao is difficult because of their isolation and independent mind-set. They are relatively closed to change; decisions are made at a community level, not individually. The Ban Yao have lived and died for centuries without knowledge of Christ.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-14
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-02
People Name General Ban Yao (Bahn-Yaow)
People Name in Country Ban Yao
Population in China 36,000
World Population 36,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Ban, Ban Mien
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Ban Yao (Bahn-Yaow)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 18411
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 30,000 Ban Yao live in southwest China. The Ban Yao are the smallest of the three Yao groups (totaling 154,700) located in Yunnan Province. The Ban Yao live in the extreme southeastern arm of Yunnan and in adjacent areas of southwest Guangxi. They are noted for living at the top of verdant mountains throughout the area. Being a people who stubbornly keep to themselves and resist all pressure to change, they do not often appear in the market towns on the plain..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Iu Mien (36,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Iu Mien 36,000
For Primary Language: Iu Mien

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1932-1996)
New Testament Yes   (1975-1991)
Complete Bible Yes   (2008)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Lao Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (New Roman Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Old Roman Script Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Thai Script) Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Iu Mien Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
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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