Han Tai in China

Joshua Project has identified the Han Tai only in China

Population

56,100

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Identity

Although the Han Tai have never previously appeared in Christian research lists, they are a people group with their own customs, selfidentity, and language. While Tai Lu (Shui Tai) women wear long, colorful sarongs, and put their hair up in a bun, "Han Tai women wear black, hand-woven sarongs with a bright blue fitted blouse and black turban."


History

Over many generations, the Tai race slowly began to separate and form distinctive traditions and languages. They "eventually evolved into two groups: the lowland farmers or Shui Tai and the mountain nomads, or Han Tai."


Customs

In contrast to the dominant Tai Lu, whose homes are built on stilts, the Han Tai build their homes flat on the ground, often in a long row of houses containing several families. The Han Tai celebrate the annual Songkran Festival. People splash water over each other, believing it cleanses the sins of the past year. A Tai legend tells about a powerful firebreathing demon who was defeated by Yidanhan, a beautiful Tai maiden. "One night she made a special feast for the demon and got him drunk. ... He told her that if someone was able to pull a hair from his head and wrap it around his neck, his head would fall off and he would die. Yidanhan did this, but the demon's head rolled away and set everything on fire. The Tai splashed water on the demon's head to quench the fire, and to wash the blood from Yidanhan's clothes."


Religion

During the Cultural Revolution the Han Tai Buddhists suffered much persecution. Cadres even dug up the skeleton of a revered Buddhist abbot and used his bones as fertilizer, in a bizarre bid to provoke the people and destroy their religion. Pa Ya Shanmudi, the legendary Tai folk hero, laid down several commandments to ensure the survival of his people. One of these instructs each village to build a shrine, called a zaixin, as the symbolic heart of the community. "It serves as a ritual center. ... To destroy it or obstruct access to it would be the height of sacrilege."


Christianity

A small number of Han Tai Christians who live in the Mengyuan area were won to Christ by an evangelist in recent years. In the 1960s many of the Tai church leaders in Xishuangbanna were killed by the fanatical Red Guards.


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

People Name General Han Tai
People Name in Country Han Tai
Population in China 56,100
World Population 56,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged or Unknown Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dai, Dry Land Dai, Dry-Land Dai, Han Dai, Mountain Dai
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Han Tai
Ethnic Code MSY49a
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution rankinging, )
Location in Country Approximately 60,000 Han Tai people inhabit the mountains of Mengyuan County in the Xishuangbanna Prefecture of Yunnan Province.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lu (56,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lu 56,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1921-1932)
New Testament Yes   (1933)
Complete Bible No
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Lu

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
80.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.70 %)
0.70 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
19.30 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
100.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
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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