Iu Mien, Hunan in China

Joshua Project has identified the Iu Mien, Hunan only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



Although they are part of the great Yao nationality in China, the Iu Mien living in Hunan Province have been found to speak a dialect that differs and is considered mutually unintelligible with Iu Mien varieties elsewhere.


There has been great conflict between the Iu Mien (Yao) and the Han for many centuries. Until this century the Chinese character for writing Yao used the radical for "insect" instead of the radical for "people." A series of rebellions occurred among the Iu Mien in Hunan, starting in 1836. The fight was over the control of the opium trade. Most drugs going from southern China to the northern provinces passed through Xinning County, just to the west of the Xiang River valley. The Iu Mien in this region were involved with the trade as well as several Chinese triad societies, including the Qinglian Jiao (Black Lotus Society) and the Bangbang Hui (Cudgel Society). In 1847 another revolt occurred in Xinning, led by an Iu Mien, Li Caihao. The Iu Mien were savagely defeated after fighting lasted for several months. Thousands of Iu Mien were killed.


Many of the Iu Mien in Hunan live in isolated villages at the summits of high mountains. Because of their location, the Iu Mien pipe fresh water to their villages through a skillfully constructed system of bamboo pipes.


The Hunan Iu Mien share three religious belief systems. They worship Pan Hu, the mythical progenitor of their race, they appease spirits and demons, and they also observe rituals borrowed from Daoism (which includes ancestor worship).


The Iu Mien in Hunan are among China's most unreached people groups. There is very little Christian influence of any sort in Hunan, and few believers have ever dared to venture into the isolated mountains inhabited by the Iu Mien since time immemorial.

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

People Name General Iu Mien, Hunan (Yoo-Mee-en, Hoo-nahn)
People Name in Country Iu Mien, Hunan
Population in China 219,000
World Population 219,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Hunan Yao, Mien, Mien, Hunan, Pan Yao
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Iu Mien, Hunan (Yoo-Mee-en, Hoo-nahn)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 18505
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 An official government study in 1995 listed 130,000 speakers of the Iu Mien language living in southern Hunan Province. They inhabit at least 17 different counties within Hunan, including Yongzhou, Shuangpai, Xintian, Changning, Daoxian, Lanshan, Lingxian, Ningyuan, Jianghua, Jiangyong, Dong'an, Linwu, Guiyang, Xinning, and Yizhang. In many locations the Iu Mien live alongside Ghao-Xong and Han Chinese. There are no speakers of the Hunan variety of Iu Mien reportedly living outside of China..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Iu Mien (219,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Iu Mien 219,000
For Primary Language: Iu Mien

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1932-1996)
New Testament Yes   (1975-1991)
Complete Bible Yes   (2008)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Lao Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (New Roman Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Old Roman Script Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Thai Script) Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Iu Mien Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) 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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