Haoni in China

Joshua Project has identified the Haoni only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Haoni are counted as part of the Hani nationality in China, but they speak their own distinct language.


The Haoni people have a long history. They were originally part of a larger race known as Heman or Heni during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). These names are still sometimes used today by the various Hani groups. In 1917 the Haoni joined forces with the local Miao and Tai in a five-year battle against oppressive landlords.


The Haoni live in a harsh environment where it is difficult to grow the food they need. They have long been a poverty-stricken people. In 1955 when the Communist authorities in Mojiang sent cadres to investigate the Haoni, "the sight of abject poverty horrified the investigators. Most of the children were stark naked, and the rags they possessed were hardly enough to go around for adults. Eight villagers of the age of 20 had literally no clothes to wear and six of them were females. One family's belongings amounted to no more than a small iron pot and an earthenware bowl." Today economic improvement has come to the Haoni in the valleys, but the plight of those dwelling on the mountaintops remains much the same.


The Haoni are rapidly becoming a secularized people. Few of the younger generation observe the intricate superstitions of their parents and grandparents. Traditionally the Haoni were slaves to a multitude of demons and ghosts. This has helped shape the worldview of the Haoni. Some believe "a man's body has nine souls located in the head, mouth, heart, eyes, chest, hands, ears, back, and feet; a woman's body, however, has one more soul located in her breasts."


Mojiang County was the center of activity for the German Pentecostal Vandsburger Mission and the Danish Assemblies of God. Between 1940 and 1947 a massive people movement to Christ flourished throughout the area, especially among the Biyo and Kado. Forty thousand tribesmen - 35% of the entire minority population at the time - started following Christ. H. A. Baker, an independent Pentecostal missionary, also ministered widely in the area. Today an estimated 5,000 Haoni Christians meet in scattered churches throughout Mojiang County. Most Haoni use the Chinese language in their services because there has never been any translation work completed in the Haoni language of southern Yunnan.

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

People Name General Haoni (How-nee)
People Name in Country Haoni
Population in China 154,000
World Population 154,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Ho, Honi, Ouni, Uni, Woni
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Haoni (How-nee)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18488
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 In 1990 an estimated 100,000 Haoni were located in Mojiang County and surrounding areas of the Yuxi and Honghe prefectures. Honghe (Red River) Prefecture is located in the southern part of Yunnan Province. One village of Haoni people is located in Wuding County in northern Yunnan..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Honi (154,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Honi 154,000
For Primary Language: Honi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 5.00 %)
8.00 %
Ethnic Religions
89.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
3.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
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 Frontier Ventures.