Eka in China

Joshua Project has identified the Eka only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Eka is one of more than 100 distinct people groups of Yi in Yunnan Province alone, and one of 120 throughout all of China. The Eka formerly possessed a strong cultural identity, but their uniqueness and cohesiveness as a people has eroded over the past century as they have been swamped by Chinese immigrants entering the Shuangjiang area in large numbers.


The Eka are believed to have moved into the area at least 300 years ago, possibly from areas close to Kunming City. Much of the land was unclaimed at the time, but after the Eka moved onto it and cultivated it, waves of new Chinese entered the area, claimed the land for themselves, and drove the Eka off into the mountains.


The members of this tribe lead simple lives. They keep pigs, goats, and chickens, as well as grow rice and maize.


The Eka are polytheists, worshiping many gods and deities. Their beliefs are similar to other tribes in Yunnan. One early visitor, commenting on the beliefs of another Yi group, wrote, "They are, as a matter of fact, pure theists. They have no religious worship properly so called; neither temples, nor priests, nor ceremonies in which the people can participate. But they believe in one God, perfect and omnipotent, and in a magnificent Spirit. After their death the good are called to God and the wicked are tormented by the Demon. But as a rule the dead man has been neither wholly good nor wholly bad; he therefore spends three years in roaming the earth around his home, intervening in events, and the celestial judgment is deferred until the end of that period. That is why the [Yi] keep for three years in their houses, either in a box or under the roof, a kind of effigy of the deceased, made of wood, or hemp, or the root of an orchid, in which magical formulas have fixed the soul of the deceased. On certain anniversaries this figure is brought out and prayers are recited. At the third year's end the figure is thrown away; the soul is judged."


According to one source, there were two Eka believers reported in 1933. These may have come under the influence of missionary work among their Lahu neighbors, hundreds of whom came to Christ in the early part of the twentieth century. There may be as many as 20 Eka Christians today, but most members of this group have yet to receive an intelligible witness of the gospel. Some Eka remain who need to hear the message in their own tongue, but most are now adequately bilingual in Chinese or Lahu for effective evangelization to occur in those languages.

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

People Name General Eka (Ee-kah)
People Name in Country Eka
Population in China 3,300
World Population 3,300
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Menghuaren
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Eka (Ee-kah)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18448
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 With a population of more than 2,500 people, the Eka are the largest Yi group living in Shuangjiang County of Yunnan Province in southwest China. The only other Yi group located in Shuangjiang are the 500 Mishaba Laluo. Shuangjiang is an extremely remote and mountainous area. Many villages are only accessible by foot..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Mandarin Lahu
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Mandarin Lahu
For Primary Language: Lahu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1924-1962)
New Testament Yes   (1932-1962)
Complete Bible Yes   (1989)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible: Lahu Bible Text / Printed Matter
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Lahu Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.78 %)
0.80 %
Ethnic Religions
95.20 %
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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