Han Chinese, Waxiang in China

Joshua Project has identified the Han Chinese, Waxiang only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Although officially considered part of the Han Chinese nationality, Waxiang may not even be a Chinese language. Little study has been conducted into Waxiang, but one scholar notes, "Some view it as a special variety of Chinese, others as a minority language, perhaps related to Miao." It is possible that the Waxiang are a mixture of Miao and Chinese people who developed their own distinct characteristics after centuries of mutual contact.


The Qing (Manchu) Dynasty (1644-1911): The Manchus in the northeast took advantage of the peasant unrest throughout China and seized control of Beijing. Yet again, the Han Chinese majority were ruled by a neighboring minority tribe. It took a further four decades for the Manchu to take control of southern China. Today's Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang were all conquered and subdued, leading to ethnic unrest which persists to this day. The Manchu period witnessed the entrance of foreign powers into China and the seizing of key ports and regions. Hong Kong was taken by the British, Macau by the Portuguese, while the Dutch, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Russians all laid claim to parts of China. The Chinese consider the Manchu Dynasty one of the most humiliating of their long history.


Many of the customs of the more rural Waxiang are similar to those of the neighboring Ghao-Xong.


The majority of Waxiang practice animistic rituals. They appease spirits and ghosts who they believe dwell in their villages and influence their lives for good or for evil.


There are few Christians among the Waxiang. The region has historically given a cold reception to those few missionaries who ventured into the Wuling Mountains. American Catholic priests, from the Blessed Gabriel Monastery in Massachusetts, USA, commenced work along the Hunan-Guizhou border in the 1920s. One early missionary reported, "The good work is moving but very slowly. The people are as hard as steel. They are eaten up both soul and body by the world, and do not seem to feel that there can be reality in anything beyond sense. To them our doctrine is foolishness, our talk jargon. We discuss and beat them in argument. We reason them into silence and shame; but the whole effort falls upon them like showers upon a sandy desert."

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-12
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-08
People Name General Han Chinese, Waxiang (Wa-sheeung)
People Name in Country Han Chinese, Waxiang
Population in China 364,000
World Population 364,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Waxianghua, Wogang, Xianghua
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Chinese
People Name General Han Chinese, Waxiang (Wa-sheeung)
Ethnic Code MSY42a
People ID 18483
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 320,000 speakers of the Waxiang language live scattered throughout an area of more than 6,000 square kilometers (2,340 sq. mi.) in western Hunan Province. The majority are located in the Wuling Mountains, including parts of Yuanling, Chunxi, Jishou, Guzhang, and Dayong counties..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Waxianghua (364,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Waxianghua 364,000
For Primary Language: Waxianghua

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
1.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.22 %)
0.30 %
Ethnic Religions
70.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
28.70 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
75.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
25.0 %
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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