Mixisu in China

Joshua Project has identified the Mixisu only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Mixisu have been officially included under the Yi nationality in China. The self-name of this group is Mixisu. Although they are surrounded on every side by the Shengzha Nosu people, the Mixisu continue to retain a separate ethnicity. The Han Chinese call the Mixisu Shuitian Ren, which means "water fields people." This generic Chinese name is used for several distinct groups throughout southern China.


In the distant past there were few Yi people living in southern Sichuan Province, but warfare between the Yi and Chinese in Guizhou and Yunnan forced many people to migrate into the lonely, wild mountains of southern Sichuan where they could retain their ethnicity without fear of invasion. According to French General Vicomte d'Ollone, "The first conquest [of the Yi in Guizhou] was effected by the Ming Dynasty about 1380, and another more serious one by the Manchu Emperor Yungcheng in 1727; and it was then that the irreducible populations sought an inaccessible refuge beyond the Blue River. We now saw the country-side which was once the home of the tribes we had already visited, the battle-fields where they often held their conquerors in check; we also found remnants of the same tribes which had preferred surrender, and which still preserve continuous relations with their fellowclansmen across the river."


The Mixisu were raided by the Nosu for generations and many were taken away as slaves and concubines. The Communist authorities "liberated" the area and abolished the slave system in the early 1950s. Today, the Mixisu lead quiet lives as farmers and herdsmen.


Although most Mixisu do not consider themselves to be religious, they still retain spirit worship and ancestor worship ceremonies which are held on several occasions throughout the lunar calendar.


In many parts of southern China prior to 1949, the Nosu dominated the lives of their neighbors by using their authority as powerful landlords. "One Nosu landowner [in another area] ... would not allow his Nosu tenants to become Christians as they were false and crafty, and if they entered the Church, it was from unworthy motives." As a result, few Mixisu have ever been given the chance to hear the gospel. There are a few small Three-Self Chinese churches in Xichang City, but few have ever considered taking the gospel to the unreached Mixisu.

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

People Name General Mixisu (Mee-shee-soo)
People Name in Country Mixisu
Population in China 6,600
World Population 6,600
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Shuitian, Shuitian Ren, Shuitianzu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Mixisu (Mee-shee-soo)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18600
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 Approximately 5,000 people belonging to the Mixisu ethnic group live in the mountainous southern part of Sichuan Province in southern China. The Mixisu inhabit villages within Xichang and Mianning counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nuosu (6,500)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nuosu 6,500
For Primary Language: Nuosu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes
New Testament Yes   (2005)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Nuosu Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
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
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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