Dong, Northern in China

Joshua Project has identified the Dong, Northern only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Dong

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

Although the Northern and Southern Dong speak different languages, they have been combined to form the official Dong nationality in China. The two groups are also culturally different. The Northern Dong have been assimilated into Chinese culture much more than their southern counterparts. The Dong call themselves Kam.


The Dong were not known by that name until this century. In the past they were part of the ancient Yue race, which dominated southern China. The Dong have many ancient myths and legends about the origin of the world.


One of the visually striking aspects of a Dong community is the Drum Tower. For centuries, the Dong have used the tower as the rallying point of the community: a place where the village gathers for an emergency, celebrates a wedding, and where young Dong couples sing love songs to each other. One source states that there are more than 30 distinct Dong dialect groups in China, and that marriage is rare between members of the various groups.


The Dong believe in many gods. They regard certain mountains, trees, stones, and other nonhuman objects as sacred. This is reflected in the Dong custom of planting a fir tree for each newborn baby. A form of black magic, called Tu, is practiced by some Dong in remote areas. The Kitchen god is worshiped during the Spring and Fall festivals. A growing number of Dong youth are nonreligious.


Although they are considered relatively open to the gospel, the Dong remain one of the most neglected minority groups in China. Today there are an estimated 600 Northern Dong Christians, a meager number considering their large population of more than one million. Most Dong have never heard the gospel. Both Protestant and Catholic missionaries were active among the Dong prior to the introduction of Communism in 1949. Several churches were built, but the gospel never took a firm hold among the Dong. Efforts are underway to produce a Roman script for them. Many Northern Dong could now be reached by Chinese-language media.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-21
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-06-29
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-23
People Name General Dong, Northern (Dong)
People Name in Country Dong, Northern
Population in China 577,000
World Population 577,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dong, Gam, Kam, Northern Tung, Tong, Tongkia, Tung, Tungchia, Tungjen
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Dong, Northern (Dong)
Ethnic Code MSY49z
People ID 18442
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 one million speakers of the Northern Dong language live in the area of southern China where the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan meet. In addition, a small number live far to the north in Enshi County in southwestern Hubei. In 1990 the Northern Dong amounted to 36% of the total Dong population of 2.54 million..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Mandarin Dong, Northern
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Mandarin Dong, Northern
For Primary Language: Dong, Northern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
0.12 %
Ethnic Religions
91.88 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
8.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
80.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source: Axel Quack   Creative Commons  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
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.