Gaiji in China

Joshua Project has identified the Gaiji only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Gaiji are one of the more assimilated of the 120 ethnic groups that have been combined by the Chinese authorities to form the official Yi nationality. The Gaiji are a little-known people. They have never before appeared on ethnolinguistic lists of China's peoples.


Little is known about the history of the Gaiji people and how they relate to other Yi groups in southern China. Even oral traditions and legends are not handed down to Gaiji children anymore.


According to one researcher, the Gaiji "retain their folk-dances, certain festivals, and religious beliefs. These, however, along with their bloodline, are the only factors separating them from the pervasive Han culture." Gaiji weddings are traditionally very relaxed. Once a couple decides they are ready for marriage, they choose a day to go farther into the mountains and chop firewood together. The bride "bears the firewood on her back as the two return to the groom's home to meet his parents. The bride then works for the groom's parents for two or three days. After her work is done, the two leave for the home of the bride. At the bride's home the groom engages in conversation with the bride's parents; by and by he leaves with the family water buckets balanced on his shoulders with a bamboo rod. If he is able to return with full buckets and empty them into the household crock without spilling any water he is considered a capable candidate for marriage and knows that he has been accepted by his new in-laws. As soon as the couple returns to the home of the groom's family, the two are considered married."


Few Gaiji under the age of 30 have any religious beliefs. Most elderly Gaiji retain some vestiges of ancestor worship, Daoism, and animism. In the past, the Gaiji were a very superstitious people, but their beliefs have gradually eroded as have their culture and language.


Often when tribal peoples assimilate to Chinese culture and language it affords them a better chance of hearing the gospel, but in the case of the Gaiji this has not occurred because the Chinese living in the Gaiji area, Yunxian County, are also unreached. There may be a very small number of professing Han believers in the county seat, which is the main administrative town, but they are not known to be outward-looking in their faith. The Gaiji remain unreached and untold.

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

Video Links:
The Path to Truth and Life
People Name General Gaiji (Gai-jee)
People Name in Country Gaiji
Population in China 40,000
World Population 40,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Gaijipo, Gaiqipo
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Gaiji (Gai-jee)
Ethnic Code MSY50z
People ID 18456
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 30,000 members of the Gaiji ethnic group reportedly live in the central part of Yunxian County in Yunnan Province. They share the county with many ethnic groups, including the Mishaba Laluo, the Mili, and the Limi. Yunxian County lies within the jurisdiction of the Lincang Prefecture..   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)
Chinese, Mandarin (40,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Mandarin 40,000
For Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1864-1986)
New Testament Yes   (1857-1981)
Complete Bible Yes   (1874-1983)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Gateway Scripture Text / Printed Matter
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Traditional Text / Printed Matter
Bible: 新譯本(繁體字版) Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Cartoon Gospel tract Text / Printed Matter
Chinese Blog about Unreached Peoples General
Christ for the Nations Audio Recordings
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
85.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
15.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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