Muzi in China

Joshua Project has identified the Muzi only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



Despite their similar names and even though both have been included under the Yi nationality in China, the Muzi are not the same people group as the Muji. Jamin Pelkey explains, "The origin and development of the Muzi people are baffling. Not only are their customs and eating habits remarkably different from the Muji on all sides of them, but their language is divergent enough to be placed in a completely separate language family!"


Despite the fact that the Muzi have a different language and customs today, historians speculate that at one time they were part of the Muji people. Historians say that the two groups "diverged late in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1367) when the Muji went to war with the Puwa of present-day Xibeile District."


Every Muzi home has a fire-pit dug into the middle of the floor of the main room. Beside this fire-pit is a rock on which to place the cooking pot. The Muzi believe "this rock and the area around it to be sacred - being the area where the guardian god of the home and the ancestors reside. No one is allowed to step on this rock." Unmarried Muzi youth and widows usually live together in a huafang - a communal house where they can come together for sexual unions and courtship. "They may also spend the night with each other in rooms built above their homes adjoining goat stables."


The Muzi set aside the first day of each third lunar month to worship the Dragon god. "On this day each Muzi village kills a pig, each family prepares fermented glutinous rice, and all gather around the altar at the sacred tree of the village to worship the dragon god. After the ceremonies the entire village feasts together on bean sprouts and pork. The dancing of the 'slap dance' and folk singing after the feast is reportedly lively, but the Muzi do not allow outsiders to participate. ... In history past the Muzi were acclaimed hunters and felt a need to appease the god of the hunt. In order to show their reverence they would save the bones from every animal they killed and, after amassing a certain weight, would take them into the forest to dump the bones into a prepared hole. After burying the bones a Muzi hunter would pray to the god of the hunt for a rich supply of game."


The Muzi are completely unaffected by Christianity. Their isolated location and mind-set have separated them from the mainstream of Chinese society and, consequently, from any contact they might have with Christians.

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

People Name General Muzi (Moo-zi)
People Name in Country Muzi
Population in China 11,000
World Population 11,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names La'ou Yuxi Mujiren, Muji, Mujiren, Southern Muji
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Muzi (Moo-zi)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18616
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 A 1999 research paper listed a population of 1,500 Muzi people living in southern China's Honghe Prefecture in Yunnan Province. The Muzi inhabit the five villages of Gamadi, Adapo, Dimami, Liangshuigou, and Bailedi - all within Gamadi Community of Shuitian District in Mengzi County. The Muzi are not reported to live in any other part of China..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Muzi (11,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Muzi 11,000
For Primary Language: Muzi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
97.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
3.00 %
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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