Huayao Tai in China

Joshua Project has identified the Huayao Tai only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Although the Huayao (Flowery Belted) Tai are a part of the officially constructed Dai nationality in China, they desire to be recognized as a separate minority group. Their language shares some similarities to Tai Lu, but the two are reported to be mutually unintelligible. It is possible that the Huayao Tai were a Tai group who originally lived in eastern Yunnan and migrated to their present location in the Xishuangbanna Prefecture. All Huayao Tai are also able to speak Tai Lu, which serves as the lingua franca of the region. The Huayao Tai observe different festivals from the other Tai groups. They do not celebrate Songkran, the annual Water Splashing Festival.


The Huayao Tai are historically part of the great and ancient Tai race. One writer claimed that the Tai predate even the Chinese. "Gathered from Chinese and Burmese annals, as well as from their own, this history shows them to be older than the Hebrews or the Chinese themselves, to say nothing of such moderns as the Slavs, the Teutons or the Gauls."


Huayao Tai women are instantly recognizable by their huge circular hats. They also carry with them a small bamboo basket, containing needle and thread, cosmetics, or food. The distinctive dress of the Huayao Tai differs from one area to another, "by variations in their dress and the ornaments which they wear." The Huayao Tai celebrate the annual Flower Street Festival.


The Huayao Tai practice a mixture of Theravada Buddhism and animism. "Animism in its Tai form ranges from the worship of natural force ... to include the practice of shamanism, sorcery and black magic."


A small number of Huayao Tai believers live in Mengyang County. In recent years evangelists have been active among them, establishing several house churches. Few Huayao Tai outside of Mengyang have heard of Christ. The Huayao Tai believers use the Tai Lu and Chinese Scriptures. Gospel recordings have recently been produced in the Huayao Tai language.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-23
People Name General Huayao Tai (Hwa-yaow-Tie)
People Name in Country Huayao Tai
Population in China 89,000
World Population 89,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Color Belt Dai, Color Waist Dai, Flowery Belt Dai, Flowery Waist Dai, Hwayao Dai, Hwayaodai
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Huayao Tai (Hwa-yaow-Tie)
Ethnic Code MSY49z
People ID 18502
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 Fifty-five thousand Huayao Tai were reported in a 1990 official Chinese government survey. They live in stockaded villages in the foothills of the mountains in Xinping and Mengyang counties in the southern part of Yunnan Province. The Huayao Tai live in simple flat-roofed adobe homes that are built flat on the ground, as opposed to the neighboring Tai Lu who build their wooden homes on stilts. Small numbers of Huayao Tai also live along the banks of the Honghe River in Yuanjiang County..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Lu (89,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lu 89,000
For Primary Language: Lu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1921-1932)
New Testament Yes   (1933)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Lu Film / Video
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Theravada

Major Religion Percent
55.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.29 %)
0.30 %
Ethnic Religions
41.70 %
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: Anonymous  
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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