Ersu in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ersu only in China

Population

43,100

Christian

0.00%

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Ersu are officially part of the Tibetan nationality, but in the 1980s they asked the government to create a new minority, called the Xifan, and to include them under it. The authorities declined. The linguist Sun Hongkai says, "Ersu speakers at different localities have different autonyms: those living at Ganluo, Yuexi and Hanyuan call themselves Ersu, Buerzi or Ersubuerzi; those living at Shimian use Lusu, and those living at Muli, Jiulong and western Mianning Lisu. These different autonyms are dialectal variants of the same word, originally meaning 'white people'."


History

Regardless of where the Ersu may have originated, it is known that they have lived in their present location for many centuries. Qiang nomads once ruled western China as far as today's Inner Mongolia. Gradually their kingdoms broke up and they migrated south and west. The present official Qiang nationality in China only represents a fraction of the original Qiang race. Most were assimilated by larger groups long ago.


Customs

Culturally, the Ersu have been swallowed up by the Tibetans. Almost every aspect of their lives reflects their belief in Tibetan Buddhism.


Religion

The Ersu believe they will be reincarnated when they die and will come back to the earth as a person in a higher social position if they have lived a virtuous life. They will come back as an animal if they lived a wicked life. This belief results in the Ersu having little motivation to help the afflicted among them, as suffering is considered the consequence of a person's bad karma.


Christianity

There has never been a known church or Christian among the Ersu. The Border Mission of the Church of Christ in China and the American Baptists worked among the related Jiarong people until 1949, reporting 34 converts in 1934. No outreach, however, was ever undertaken to the Ersu.



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

People Name General Ersu
People Name in Country Ersu
Population in China 43,100
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Buerzi, Douxu, Duoxu, Ersu Yi, Ersubuerzi, Lisu, Lusu, Tosu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Ersu
Ethnic Code MSY50l
Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country A 1983 study listed 20,000 speakers of Ersu living along the lower reaches of Dadu River, in seven different counties of southern Sichuan Province in western China. The main centre of Ersu habitation could be said to be Ganluo County.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ersu (43,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ersu 43,000
Category Resource
Largest Religion Buddhism
Buddhism
98.00%
Christianity
0.00%    ( Evangelical  0.00% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
1.00%
Non-Religious
1.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway © Copyrighted Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
Get Involved
Register ministry activity for this group

Copyright © 2014 Joshua Project. A ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission.