Ghao-Xong, Western in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ghao-Xong, Western only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Western Ghao-Xong have been called several different names in the past, including Huayuan Miao, Red Miao, and West Hunan Miao. They are part of the Miao nationality, but they speak a language different from all other Miao groups in China. Their dress and customs are also different. Most Miao in Hunan call themselves Ghao-Xong, in contrast to other Miao groups such as the Hmong, Hmu, Gha-Mu, and A-Hmao.


The virtually inaccessible mountains where the provinces of Hunan, Sichuan, and Guizhou meet were the site of countless wars involving the Ghao-Xong. The Qing Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) issued an edict that "the rules governing them should be different from those enforced elsewhere in China." It took the Chinese 18 years (1855-1872) to crush one rebellion. According to a memorial, "When reaching a Miao village, the government troops slaughtered rebels and those who had surrendered."


The Ghao-Xong celebrate the Siyueba Festival on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. "Many centuries ago, there were Miao [Ghao-Xong] people living by the River Longtang at the foot of the Fenghuang Mountains in Western Hunan. No longer able to bear the oppression they suffered under the rule of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), they rose in revolt under the leadership of two brothers, Yayi and Yanu. ... Yayi was killed in battle. Yanu led the remnants of his forces into safety in Guizhou. ... To commemorate their heroes the Miao [Ghao-Xong] people gather to hold a ceremony at which they sing, dance and perform traditional rites."


The Ghao-Xong (along with the She and Yao minorities) worship Pan Hu, the dragon-dog they claim as the forefather of their race. The Pan Hu myth was recorded as early as the fifth century AD in the Chronicles of the Later Han Dynasty (Hou Han Shui).


The work of the Catholic Passionist missionaries was hindered by their inability to speak either Ghao-Xong or Chinese fluently. One missiologist remarks, "Little wonder then, that in Hunan there does not appear to be any large-scale turning of the Miao [Ghao-Xong] people to Christ." The western Hunan region was largely neglected by Protestant missionaries prior to 1949. Today, the majority of Ghao-Xong have never heard the gospel.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-07-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-27
People Name General Ghao-Xong, Western (Gaow-Shong)
People Name in Country Ghao-Xong, Western
Population in China 1,361,000
World Population 1,361,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Ghao-Xong Western, Hsianghsi Miao, Huayuan Miao, Meo Do, Northern Miao, Red Miao, West Hunan Miao, Xiangxi
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Miao / Hmong
People Name General Ghao-Xong, Western (Gaow-Shong)
Ethnic Code MSY47a
People ID 18466
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 A study based on the 1990 Chinese census listed 820,000 speakers of the Western Ghao-Xong language. Most live in six counties of northwestern Hunan Province. Others are scattered far and wide, from Hubei Province in the north, to Guizhou and Sichuan in the west, and to the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Miao, Western Xiangxi (1,361,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Miao, Western Xiangxi 1,361,000

For Main Lanugage: Miao, Western Xiangxi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Ghao Zong Miao Bible Stories
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.38 %)
0.60 %
Ethnic Religions
92.40 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
7.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
60.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
40.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of the Frontier Ventures.