Suodi in China

Joshua Project has identified the Suodi only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Few people have ever heard of the Suodi. Most publications have failed to distinguish the Suodi from the Nosu, who are the largest Yi group inhabiting the Daliangshan in southern Sichuan. Although the Suodi and Nosu languages are related, they are different enough that speakers have difficulty in communicating and often must revert to Chinese in order to be understood. Just as important, Suodi is the autonym of this group. They do not call themselves Nosu or Yi. The Suodi have been included under the official Yi nationality by the Chinese authorities.


For centuries the Suodi have been caught up in violence, slavery, and warfare with their Nosu neighbors and between respective clans of Suodi. As Chinese influence expanded into the Suodi area, frequent clashes between the Suodi and Chinese soldiers erupted. In 1911 the Suodi took several hundred people into slavery to avenge a surprise Chinese attack near Huili a few weeks earlier. "Jubilant in victory, the Chinese loaded four ponies with Lolo [Suodi] heads to bring them to Ningyuanfu. Since this load was too heavy, the Chinese cut off the ears and brought them into the city to be presented to their commander."


The Suodi are engaged in a wide variety of occupations, including traders, farmers, and herders. In the past many Suodi were opium addicts - a vice that is slowly resurfacing among Suodi youth.


A complex form of polytheism is practiced by the Suodi. They worship a host of deities and spirits, hoping their devotion will prevent disaster coming upon their families and villages. They also believe in Yasomu, an all-powerful deity, and they keep ancestral tablets.


Catholic missionaries first reached out to the Suodi in Huili in 1802. In 1809, "Monsieur Hamel sent Thomas Tsin into this area, and he founded five stations, baptized seventy-four adults, and registered the names of thirty-six catechumens." American and Australian Baptist missionaries were also stationed at Huili before 1949. Little longterm work actually survived in the area. Numerous obstacles were placed before the missionaries by Chinese officials. "The desire of the missionaries was to plant a strong church among the savages in the mountains, but the opposition from both the [Suodi] and the Han Chinese was too great. They had to settle for spreading the faith among the Chinese." Today there are no more than a few hundred Catholic believers among the Suodi. Most members of this group have yet to hear the gospel for the first time.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-20
People Name General Suodi (Swohr-dee)
People Name in Country Suodi
Population in China 241,000
World Population 241,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Black Yi, Huili Yi, Nuosu, So-ti, Suod, Suodi Nosu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Suodi (Swohr-dee)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18686
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 Approximately 190,000 ethnic Suodi people live in the high mountains of southern China, including some 170,000 in Huili, Dechang, Miyi, and Puge counties of southern Sichuan Province, and 14,500 in Yuanmou, Luquan, and Yongren counties of northern Yunnan Province..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nuosu: Suodi (241,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nuosu: Suodi 241,000
For Primary Language: Nuosu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes
New Testament Yes   (2005)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Nuosu Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.11 %)
1.00 %
Ethnic Religions
94.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

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