Luoluopo, Western in China

Joshua Project has identified the Luoluopo, Western only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Although they share the same autonym with the Central Luoluopo and the Southeastern Luoluopo, the languages of these three groups differ widely. Each comes from a different branch of the Yi linguistic group. These names reflect each group's linguistic affiliation, rather than a geographic orientation: the Western Luoluopo speak a Western Yi language; the Central Luoluopo speak a Central Yi language, etc. Luoluopo is the self-name of these groups. In the past, Lolo came to be the derogatory term used freely by the Chinese to describe all Yi people. As a result, many Luoluopo today prefer to identify themselves as Yi to outsiders.


The ancestors of the Western Luoluopo used to live farther to the north of their present location. In the past, war between different Yi tribes and clans was frequent, resulting in massive loss of life. Because of these conditions, many groups migrated out of the area. One historian described the hostilities: "War tactics were ... mundane: ambushes and surprise attacks were favored; because of lack of ammunition, battles were often hand to hand; the goal was not so much to kill the enemy as to capture him. A Black Yi would be held for ransom or allowed to commit suicide; White Yi or slaves were held for ransom or enslaved. Witchcraft and amulets were used extensively."


These battles were often ended "by the mediation of a third clan, or by a 'waiting-at-home' bride related to both parties (if her pleas were unsuccessful, she would commit suicide). Peace negotiations were long and required expert debaters: compensation had to be decided upon for each life lost."


Polytheistic animism is the main religious adherence of the Western Luoluopo. Ancestor worship is also prevalent. Two or three ancestral rites are performed every year in honor of the Luoluopo forefathers.


Although little is known about the extent of Christianity among the Western Luoluopo, there may be a small number of believers among them. Aa a result, The Luowu remain completely unreached today, although the first ever gospel recordings in the Luowu language were produced in 1999. Most Western Luoluopo have never heard of Christ.

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

People Name General Luoluopo, Western (Luoh-luoh-po)
People Name in Country Luoluopo, Western
Population in China 246,000
World Population 246,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Lolo, Lolo, Western, Lolopo, Western Lolo
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Luoluopo, Western (Luoh-luoh-po)
Ethnic Code MSY50z
People ID 18569
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 According to researcher Jamin Pelkey, 188,500 Western Luoluopo live in six counties of northern and central Simao Prefecture in Yunnan Province. In descending order, the Western Luoluopo are found in Jingdong County (57,000), followed by Jinggu (47,000), Lancang (31,500), Zhenyuan (28,000), Simao (14,500), and Pu'er (10,000)..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Lolopo, Southern (246,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lolopo, Southern 246,000
For Primary Language: Lolopo, Southern

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 0.05 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
94.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.80 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
60.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
40.0 %
Photo Source: Go Yi  
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

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.