Gese in China

Joshua Project has identified the Gese only in China

Population

15,600

Christian

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Gese (pronounced "Geh-Seh") are one of the dozens of tribes which the Chinese authorities combined to form the official Yi nationality. Jamin Pelkey notes, "Though no Chinese sources firmly attest to this people group's existence, this people refer to themselves as Gese in their own language and think of themselves as different from Naisu. The Gese are not the same as the Gesu or the Gepo - two other Yi tribes in Yunnan Province.


History

A rich oral history recounts the Gese's victory over a terrible plague that struck the people in their region. Their stories may well refer to the Black Plague that decimated Yunnan Province between 1812 and 1903. It is estimated to have reduced the population from eight million to three million.


Customs

Gese women are easily identifiable by their habit of wearing long earrings and black turbans. On the 13th day of the third lunar month the Gese celebrate the Flower Festival. They worship the Medicine King, who they believe saved their race from the plague in the past. According to their folklore, people everywhere were dying. The first sign of impending death was to lose feeling in their arms and legs. The Gese say numerous bodies were being carried out of their villages daily. The people who carried the corpses out also died because of contact with the bodies. The Medicine King set out to find a cure for the plague. He tasted 99 herbs from 99 mountains and drank 99 gulps of water from 99 springs, but none of them provided a cure. Finally he climbed the "Third Month Mountain" in the Gese area and tasted the herbs and drank the water. Immediately, feeling returned to his limbs. He ran down the mountain and told the people, who were also healed when they ate and drank from the mountain.


Religion

The respect the Gese have for the memory of the Medicine King borders on worship. They also appease locality spirits, such as the spirit of the soil, the spirit of the water, and the spirit of the forests.


Christianity

There are no known Christians among the Gese people. Few mission agencies have ever heard of this hidden people who go about their lives in the remote mountains of Lufeng County. The area where the Gese live has historically been devoid of gospel witness, although in recent years it has been rumored that some A-Hmao evangelists have reached out to people there. In 1998 gospel recordings were produced in the Gese language for the first time.



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

People Name General Gese
People Name in Country Gese
Population in China 15,600
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Baiyi, Gesu, White Yi
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Gese
Ethnic Code MSY50i
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country More than 12,000 people belonging to the Gese tribe live in an isolated part of southwest China. They mainly live in the villages of eastern Tuo'an District and in the villages in the southern part of the Gaofeng District in Lufeng County.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nasu, Wusa (16,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nasu, Wusa 16,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Global Recordings

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
96.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
4.00 %
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  
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