Enu in China

Joshua Project has identified the Enu only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Enu, who are officially part of the Hani nationality, are also known as the Ximeluo in China. The "Si-mou-lou" were first mentioned in a 1903 survey of Yunnan's ethnic composition. Missionary John Kuhn, in his 1945 tribal survey of Yunnan, listed the "Simoulu" as living at "Ning Erh and Qingku." Qingku is the old spelling for today's Jinggu County, in Simao Prefecture.


By the 1960s the Enu living near Chinese towns and cities had already begun the gradual process of assimilation. Today, only those living in more remote locations retain their ethnicity and language. The demise of the Enu as a distinct people group may have been a contributing factor in the Chinese government's decision not to grant them status as a separate minority.


Most Enu live in simple homes constructed of wood and thatched roofs. Most customs and ceremonies of the Enu now closely mirror that of the dominant Han Chinese. Earlier in the twentieth century, however, they still retained many unique customs that reflected their animistic beliefs. In one sacrifice, they spread the hide of a bull over a wooden frame, under which family leaders from feuding sides would drink the bull's blood and take a peace oath. If either party broke this oath, its members would meet the same fate as the slaughtered animal.


Most Enu people are animists, especially the elderly, who continue to offer prayers and burn incense before spirit and ancestral altars. The younger generation reluctantly continue the practices of their parents out of respect for their forefathers.


There are a small number of scattered Enu Christians, including some who attend a church consisting of people from nine different minority groups in Mengla County near the Laos border. Overall, however, southern Yunnan has been woefully neglected by the scouts of Christianity. Lottie Moon, a Baptist missionary, was disturbed by the lack of interest in China's lost. She bluntly stated, "It is odd that a million Baptists of the south can furnish only three men for all China. ... I wonder how these things look in heaven. They certainly look very queer in China."

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

People Name General Enu (E-noo)
People Name in Country Enu
Population in China 26,000
World Population 26,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names O-nu, Similu, Simolu, Si-mou-lou, Ximeluo, Xiumoluo, Yayisai Enu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Enu (E-noo)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18450
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 20,000 people belonging to a little-known ethnic group, the Enu, live in several counties of southern Yunnan Province. They are spread from Jinggu County in Simao Prefecture as far south as Mengla County in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, near the China-Laos border. The center of the Enu people could be placed at Tayisai District in Mojiang County. In most locations the Enu do not have their own villages; rather, they live in mixed communities with people from other nationalities..   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)
Enu (26,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Enu 26,000
For Primary Language: Enu

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 2.87 %)
2.90 %
Ethnic Religions
96.60 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.50 %
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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