Ge in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ge only in China

Population

129,000

Christian

0.12%

Evangelical

0.10%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Ge have been counted as part of the large Miao minority group in China - a classification that infuriates them. They believe themselves to be a completely separate people. The Ge wear a unique costume and speak a language unintelligible with that of surrounding communities. They call themselves Ge Mong. The Hmu call them Gedou; the Xi call them Gewu; and the Mulao Jia call them Gedu. One unconfirmed report indicated the Ge were granted official status as a minority in 1993.

The Ge language - which has six tones - is a member of the Western Hmongic branch, similar to some Miao varieties spoken in Yunnan. In 1933 missionary M. H. Hutton "reduced the Ge language to writing, using the same spelling principles as for Hmu." A Ge Christian hymn book and catechism were published in 1937; however, one report says the books "were probably never sent to the Ge area." Hutton's script is not used among the Ge today.


History

There are two theories surrounding the origins of the Ge people. Legend has it that many centuries ago a high-ranking Han soldier fell in love with a beautiful Miao girl and desired to marry her. This was an unheard-of disgrace at the time and cost the official his title and position. The couple were forced to move away and live apart from both the Han and Miao. Over time, their descendants formed into the Ge people. The second theory, which is perhaps more realistic, is that the Ge are the remnants of a Western Miao group who originally inhabited an area farther to the west.


Customs

The Ge women's costume is designed to resemble a general's uniform, in remembrance of their progenitor. The Ge are highly skilled makers of batik.


Religion

The Ge practice polytheism and animism. Ancestral altars are also found in most of their homes.


Christianity

China Inland Mission's M. H. Hutton was the only known missionary among the Ge prior to 1949. In a 1935 article he reported, "the best and cheering news of all to us is, one of these new baptized believers is a Keh Deo [Ge] tribesman. It reminds me of the nine years of prayer and work to get an entrance into that tribe and the one soul - now there are six men and I hear their wives and families are interested in the Gospel too." In 1936 Hutton described visiting a Ge Christian service, and in 1937 he reported three Ge families had become Christians. Tragically the Ge Christians ceased to believe once the missionaries were expelled from China. One Ge observer explained, "They believed in the missionaries and not in Jesus." Today there are about 100 Ge Christians in the Chong'an area.



Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
Submit a new profile or correction

Submit an update
Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country A 1984 National Geographic article listed a population for the Ge of 70,000. The majority are located in the mountains surrounding Chong'an Township in the central part of Guizhou Province. The largest single community of Ge is in Fengxiang (Maple Fragrance) Village, which contains more than 400 households. Small numbers of Ge are located in several villages southwest of the city of Kaili and in the southern part of Hunan Province.
Submit an update
People Name General Ge
People Name in Country Ge
ROP3 Code 114061
Joshua Project People ID 18460
Indigenous Yes
Population in China 129,000
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group Chonganjiang, Flower Dou Miao, Flower Gelao, Flowery Root, Ge Jia, Gedang, Gedong, Gedou, Gedou Miao, Gedoudiu, Gedu, Gejia, Getou, Gewu, Huadou, Keh Deo, Keh-teo Miao, Miao, River Gelao,
Submit an update
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ge 129,000
Submit an update
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Miao / Hmong
People Name General Ge
Ethnic Code MSY47a
Submit an update
Largest Religion Ethnic Religions
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
0.12%    ( Evangelical  0.10% )
Ethnic Religions
94.50%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
5.38%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
100.00%
Protestant
0.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
0.00%
Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center Copyrighted ©: Yes
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.