Depo in China

Joshua Project has identified the Depo only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Depo also call themselves Adou or Adoupuo. Neighboring people call them Gan Yi, which is not the same as the Eastern Nasu group profiled in Operation China. The Eastern Nasu are also commonly called Gani. The Chinese character for Gan Yi means "sweet Yi," while the character used for the Gani means "dry Yi." The Depo have largely been assimilated by the Eastern Nasu.


This tribe claims to have been migrating for most of their past. They say they originally lived in the Zhaotong area of northeast Yunnan Province before moving south to Dongchuan. "Some time later they moved again - most of them going to Sichuan, but some of them crossing Luquan to eastern Wuding County." For centuries the Depo have been slaves to the Eastern Nasu. Today, their language and customs are almost identical to their former masters'.


One of the greatest festivals celebrated by the different Yi groups is the New Rice Festival, which takes place in the eighth month of the lunar calendar every year. The people celebrate the end of the rice harvest by drinking alcohol, singing, and dancing. On three different days in the sixth lunar month the Depo celebrate the Plum Raising Festival. They test the ripeness of their plums and also use the event as an excuse to get drunk, dance, and let their hair down.


Wuding and Luquan counties, where the Depo live, have been thoroughly evangelized and contain one of the highest concentrations of Christians in all of China. In the past, animals, rivers, trees, and even rocks were worshiped by the Depo. They believed that these natural objects were sources of spiritual power. They also believed that the spirits of animals could "bite" a person, so regular offerings were made to placate them.


A relatively high percentage of Depo believe in Christ, especially among those living in the highly evangelized Fawo District of Wuding County in Yunnan Province. The Depo in Sichuan have had less exposure to the gospel.

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

People Name General Depo (Deh-po)
People Name in Country Depo
Population in China 7,900
World Population 7,900
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Adou, Adoupuo, Baiyi, Baiyizhe, Gan Yi, White Yi
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Depo (Deh-po)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18438
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 6,000 people belonging to the Depo tribe live in the Panzhihua area of southern Sichuan Province, and in Wuding and Luquan counties in northern Yunnan Province. Most Depo villages contain no more than ten families. In the majority of locations the Depo share their villages with members of other ethnic minorities. Wuding County and Luquan County (where only 747 Depo were reported to live in 1957) experienced a massive earthquake in October 1995. Fifty people were killed, 1,000 injured, and 200,000 people were left homeless..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nuosu (7,900)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nuosu 7,900
For Primary Language: Nuosu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes
New Testament Yes   (2005)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Nuosu Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 14.00 %)
14.00 %
Ethnic Religions
82.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
4.00 %
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
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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