Mongour in China

Joshua Project has identified the Mongour only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Although the Mongour have been officially included as part of the Tu nationality, they speak a very different language and possess a separate identity from the Tu in other locations. As one researcher explains, "The Tu call themselves Mongol, except those living in Minhe, who form a minority, where the word is pronounced Mongour. This term has mistakenly been used by some Western scholars as the general name for all Tu."


When the ancestors of today's Tu and Mongour people first came to Qinghai, the area was occupied by Tibetans, Uygurs, and a group called the Shato. By the late 1300s, the Tu had divided into 16 clans. Eight clans were called Tu (White Mongol), five Shato, one Black Mongol, one Turkish (Uygur), and one Chinese.


The Mongour have several unique marriage customs. One is called "marriage to the pole" by which a girl stays with her family and takes in lovers. Any children born to her take her family's name. Another is the "marriage to the girdle" where a Mongour girl sleeps with a guest, who upon departure leaves his girdle behind. In case the girl becomes pregnant, she would be "married to the girdle." During child delivery, the mother and baby stay confined to a room for one month. Men are barred from entry; only the closest female relatives are allowed to enter.


Two types of shamans are active among the Mongour. "White shamans" are used to heal sickness, while "black shamans" bring vengeance on enemies. Another highly regarded religious figure is the kurtain. This is a person who allows himself to be possessed by an evil Daoist spirit.


By the 1920s Catholic missionaries were active in the Mongour region, but no church remains today. Most Mongour can read. Missionary Frank Laubach issued a warning to the Church in the 1930s: "Millions in China will soon be reading. Are we going to give them reading matter? Will they be flooded with the message of Christ or with atheism? Will they read love or hate? This is the most stupendous, most arresting, most ominous fact, perhaps on this planet."

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-10
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-23
People Name General Mongour (Mong-gore)
People Name in Country Mongour
Population in China 50,000
World Population 50,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Minhe Tu, Mongor, Mongou, Monguor, Tu, Tu-jen
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mongolian
People Name General Mongour (Mong-gore)
Ethnic Code MSY41y
People ID 18609
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 Thirty thousand speakers of the Mongour language were reported in a 1987 study. They primarily inhabit Minhe County in the eastern part of Qinghai Province. Minhe, formerly known as Shangchuankou, lies on the Huang Shui River. Minhe is situated east of the provincial capital Xining, a considerable distance from Huzhu County where the majority of the Tu people live..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tu: Minhe (50,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tu: Minhe 50,000
For Primary Language: Tu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Tu Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan

Major Religion Percent
70.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.03 %
Ethnic Religions
29.97 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
10.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
90.0 %
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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