Suan in China

Joshua Project has identified the Suan only in China

Population

320

Christian

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Suan have been mentioned in a few local Chinese publications. Outside of their immediate area, however, the Suan are completely unknown. The government has officially counted them as part of the Yi nationality. The Suan are usually mentioned along with the Pengzi, who reportedly live in the same area and have the same population as the Suan, yet appear to be two different ethnic groups.


History

Nothing is known about the history of the Suan - where they originated or how they came to evolve into a distinct ethnic group.


Customs

Today, most Suan customs have been swallowed up by the pervasive Han culture. In the past, however, the Suan had a proud culture. They shared many of the traits that other Yi groups possess, including funeral rites. Visiting one Yi group in the early 1900s, famous missionary Samuel Pollard wrote, "The custom is that at death an imposing ceremony is held in the home. Then the tablets of wood are placed in the bags or baskets and left there for three years. In this time the ancestors are supposedly being worshipped in the home. After that time, a goat is killed in sacrifice, the tablets are escorted out. A short log is selected, split in two, the interior scooped out, and the ancestral baskets with tablets placed inside and the halves roped together again. The bound log is left on a hillside or cliff. ... The old and new spirits are thought to reside in this trough of wood."


Religion

When the threeyear period after the death of a person has expired, the Suan believe bad people will go to hell to be tormented by demons. "The [Devil] has under his orders evil spirits who play all sorts of objectionable tricks; the most notable are those that cause illness in men and animals. The [Suan] therefore use no remedies; the pimo [shaman], by various procedures, consults destiny, discovers what evil spirit is incarnated, and chases it out of the body of the sufferer by ritual formula, accompanied by the sacrifice of an animal."


Christianity

Groups that are small in size tend to be lost in the thicket of human souls in China. Although the Suan are a small, precious ethnic group, they have never appeared on any mission list of peoples in China and have never been focused on for church planting. They are an unreached and unevangelized people. Perhaps the best chance for them to hear the gospel has been through Chinese language gospel radio broadcasts. There are few Christians in Yongde County who could potentially reach out to them. Until someone does, the Suan will remain untold.



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

People Name General Suan
People Name in Country Suan
Population in China 320
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Suan
Ethnic Code MSY50i
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country According to researcher Jamin Pelkey, 250 people belonging to the Suan ethnic group live in the Wumulong District and/or in the Mengban District of Yongde County. Yongde is situated within the Lincang Prefecture in western Yunnan Province.
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lalo, Central (300)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lalo, Central 300
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Category Resource
None reported  

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
98.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway © Copyrighted Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
Profile Source:  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more  
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