Chuanlan in China

Joshua Project has identified the Chuanlan only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Chuanlan (Blue-Dressed People) are also known as Lao Han (Old Han) by people in Guizhou. In the 1950s the Chuanlan applied for recognition as a separate minority group. Their application was rejected, and they were included as part of the Han Chinese nationality. "Some people of the Han nationality who had migrated into regions inhabited by ethnic minorities in the past, such as the Chuanlan ('the blue-dressed people') in Guizhou, were not recognized as an independent 'nationality'." This upset the Chuanlan who reapplied in the late 1970s, only to be rejected again.


The Chuanlan are a Han Chinese group who have remained ethnically, linguistically and socially distinct. The Chinese in Guizhou are divided into the Lao-han-ren and Keh-jia - that is, the "Original" or "Old Chinese" and the "Immigrants". The "Old Chinese" claimed to have settled in Guizhou in the eighth and ninth centuries AD. A second wave arrived in the fourteenth century. These were soldiers who were left in the area after military campaigns. Many took minority women as wives and formed separate communities.


Chuanlan women wear distinctive indigo dresses that feature intricate embroidery similar to the Miao. Many Chuanlan customs have been borrowed from the Miao and Bouyei.


The majority of Chuanlan practice traditional Chinese religions. Elements of ancestor worship, Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and animism are found among them. In addition, there are many atheist Chuanlan who have forsaken all outward appearance of religion because of pressure from the Communist regime.


There are many Chuanlan believers in the region. Seventy thousand Christians are reported in Bijie alone, although most of them are Miao and Yi. During the 1930s, the Communists confiscated the two main churches in Bijie and used them for their headquarters. They have now become a revolutionary museum in commemoration of the Communist's Long March. Although they speak a distinct Chinese dialect - for which gospel recordings were recently made - the Chuanlan are able to use the Chinese Bible in their church services.

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

People Name General Chuanlan (Chooan-lahn)
People Name in Country Chuanlan
Population in China 388,000
World Population 388,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chuanchun, Ch'uan-chun-tsi, Lao Han, Old Han, Tunbao
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Chuanlan (Chooan-lahn)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18430
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 330,000 Chuanlan people are concentrated within Anshun Prefecture in southern China's Guizhou Province. They inhabit Anshun, Pingba and Zhenning counties..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nisu, Eastern (388,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nisu, Eastern 388,000
For Primary Language: Nisu, Eastern

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

Major Religion Percent
60.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 6.00 %)
6.20 %
Ethnic Religions
29.80 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
4.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
95.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
5.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.