Neisu in China

Joshua Project has identified the Neisu only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Although officially counted as a Hani subgroup, the Neisu have possessed their own customs and national dress for centuries, as well as their own distinct language. One writer explains, "The term Hani can be a little misleading. In the 1950s, Communist government officials ... found a host of various minority groups and began to combine those that had some sort of affinity into larger groups for administrative purposes." Neisu women are easily identified by their distinctive roostershaped hat and the colorful decorations of silver and embroidery on their aprons.


The oral stories and poems of the Neisu are rich with images of high mountains and rice-terracing systems. The Neisu have been cultivating rice on the steep mountain slopes of southern China for many centuries.


Neisu villages are constructed, where possible, along mountain ridges. Their homes are built with thatched roofs. Inside there is a strict division between the men's part of the house and the women's. Males are not allowed in the women's section. Every year the Neisu traditionally carve a pair of male and female wooden figures. These are placed on paths leading to the village entrance. At the end of the year the figures are not removed but are simply left to rot. After a number of years the village entrance seems to be guarded by many of these distinctive carvings.


The primary religion among the Neisu is polytheism. The term polytheism literally means "many gods." Indeed the Neisu worship a multiplicity of deities, from Chinese Daoist gods to ones portrayed as fearsome figures brandishing swords and clutching the severed heads of their human victims.


There are believed to be several hundred Neisu Christians meeting in mixed churches with believers of other nationalities. In the 1950s and 1960s the Communist authorities launched a systematic plan to destroy the church in Honghe. Believers were forced to work on Sundays to prevent them from meeting together. Many worked twice as hard on Saturday to meet the quota for Sunday, so they could take the day off. Others continued to meet secretly on Sunday or stopped work to worship God in the fields. Believers still suffer discrimination today.

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

People Name General Neisu (Nay-soo)
People Name in Country Neisu
Population in China 22,000
World Population 22,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Nisu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Neisu (Nay-soo)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18633
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 The Neisu tribe, who number more than 16,500 members, inhabit parts of the Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in the south central part of Yunnan Province. Honghe Prefecture shares its southern border with Vietnam..   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)
Akha (22,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Akha 22,000
For Primary Language: Akha

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1939-1991)
New Testament Yes   (1968-1987)
Complete Bible Yes   (2001)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Akha Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture (Talking Bibles) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.40 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
94.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
3.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
85.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
15.0 %
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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