Mulao Jia in China

Joshua Project has identified the Mulao Jia only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The official classification of the Mulao Jia is extremely problematic. In the national census of both 1982 and 1990, the Mulao Jia were included in a list of Undetermined Minorities. In 1993, however, 2,800 Mulao Jia in Guizhou were placed in the official Mulao nationality of northern Guangxi, more than 200 miles away. The reason why only a segment of the Mulao Jia were reclassified in such a way remains unclear. Most Mulao Jia consider themselves a distinct people and reject plans to include them as part of another nationality. Local people either consider the Mulao Jia a distinct people, or they consider them part of the Miao.


The history of the Mulao Jia in central Guizhou dates back at least to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). At that time, they were known as a primitive people who made business contracts by carving notches on wood.


Although many of their customs and festivals are now the same as those of the Han Chinese, the Mulao Jia are still known for their knife-making skills. They also beat drums to welcome friends and visitors, and drink wine from buffalo horns.


The Mulao Jia are animists. They worship a variety of ghosts and deities, including the spirit of the rice, water, trees, and forest. Many intricate animistic rituals are performed whenever there is an important community event such as a wedding or funeral. After a young Mulao Jia couple has agreed to marry, a bride-price is set by the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom. The price is always negotiated in a number of cows that the boy's family must pay the girl's. Cows are a sign of wealth and social standing among the Mulao Jia.


Protestant missionaries commenced work in central Guizhou around the start of the twentieth century, but their work was primarily focused on reaching the Hmu and Ge peoples. After several frustrating decades, with little progress being made except for a small church in Panghai, west of Kaili, the missionaries were expelled from China. There is no record of work ever having been conducted among the Mulao Jia, who live in remote communities in the mountains. There are no known Christians among the Mulao Jia today. Few Christians have ever heard of this group's existence.

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

People Name General Mulao Jia (Moo-laow-jeeah)
People Name in Country Mulao Jia
Population in China 39,000
World Population 39,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Gwa-o, Lei-o, Mulao, Qa-o
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Mulao Jia (Moo-laow-jeeah)
Ethnic Code MSY49a
People ID 18615
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 In 1982 an official Chinese publication listed a population of "about 20,000" Mulao Jia people living in Kaili, Huangping, Duyun, Fuquan, Weng'an, and Majiang counties of Guizhou Province. The main concentration of Mulao Jia live in the mountains of Majiang County. The Mulao Jia are not the same ethnic group - nor do they speak the same language - as the official Mulao nationality in northern Guangxi. There is a small group of people living in Xuanwei and Jidong villages of Majiang who refer to themselves as Mu. It is not known if these people are the same as the Mulao Jia, or if they should be considered a distinct people group..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Mandarin Miao, Western Mashan
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Mandarin Miao, Western Mashan
For Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1864-1986)
New Testament Yes   (1857-1981)
Complete Bible Yes   (1874-1983)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Gateway Scripture Text / Printed Matter
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Traditional Text / Printed Matter
Bible: 新譯本(繁體字版) Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Cartoon Gospel tract Text / Printed Matter
Chinese Blog about Unreached Peoples General
Christ for the Nations Audio Recordings
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
98.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
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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