Hagei in China

Joshua Project has identified the Hagei only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The number of people who belong to the Hagei ethnic group is considerably higher than the 1,700 population who can still speak the Hagei language. Almost a century ago, missionaries in Guizhou considered the various branches of Gelao on the verge of extinction. Samuel Clarke wrote, "As far as we know there are now only several hamlets of them in the Anshun Prefecture, which altogether do not number more than two or three hundred families."


Although they were once the dominant group in the area, the Gelao were subdued by the Chinese and their homelands were taken over during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Since that time most Gelao have assimilated to Han Chinese culture and language, so that today there is little to distinguish them from their former conquerors.


The Hagei prefer to construct their homes on the side of a hill or at the foot of a mountain. In their homes, a central kitchen is surrounded by two bedrooms. Many Hagei are extremely poor and live in houses made of mud or bamboo. Maize is the staple food of the Hagei who live in the mountains, while on the plains they eat wheat, rice, millet, and sorghum.


Apart from ancestor worship, the Hagei are not a particularly religious people.


Little is known about the state of Christianity among the Hagei, but most of the areas they inhabit have little Christian presence. The Hagei also spill over into the northwestern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The first Protestant missionary to Guangxi was R. H. Graves who arrived in 1862. He reported, "The natives of the province were strongly opposed to a foreigner settling in their midst and met every attempt at entrance with a determined opposition which reached the point of mob violence and bloodshed."

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

People Name General Hagei (Ha-gay)
People Name in Country Hagei
Population in China 3,000
World Population 3,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Hagei Gelao, Hakei
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Hagei (Ha-gay)
Ethnic Code MSY49a
People ID 18471
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 Despite a relatively small population of only 1,700 speakers, the Hagei ethnic group are found in an extraordinarily widespread area of southern China. The majority are found in five counties of northern and western Guizhou Province: including Qinglong District of Zunyi County, Anlang and Taiyang districts of Renhuai County in the north of the province; Maixiang District of Qingzhen County in central Guizhou just west of Guiyang City; Xiangying, and Ma'ao, and Huajiang districts of Zhenning County in western Guizhou. In addition, a small number of Hagei speakers spill over into the Sanchong District of Longlin County in the northwestern arm of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gelao, Red (3,100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gelao, Red 3,100
For Primary Language: Gelao, Red

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
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
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping 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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