Ta'er in China

Joshua Project has identified the Ta'er only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Ta'er are one of the smallest and least-known branches of the official Yi nationality in China. Other small Yi groups in Ninglang County include the Tagu and Talu peoples. Although linguistically and culturally related, each of these three groups views itself as being distinct from the others.


In the past the Ta'er were oppressed by the Xiaoliangshan Nosu who number more than 130,000 just in Ninglang County alone. The Xiaoliangshan Nosu took the Ta'er as slaves and continually raided their villages. False charges were often laid against the Ta'er, such as a corpse being placed on their land and charges of murder being made. Full retribution would be demanded. As a result, the Ta'er are an impoverished people, with few possessions and a low self-esteem. Even though the slavery system was officially abolished by the Communist government in the late 1950s, the social stigma and class prejudice still exists today between the different Yi peoples.


Because of their small numbers, the Ta'er have been forced to intermarry with the Han Chinese and other people groups in recent decades. Prior to liberation, the Xiaoliangshan Nosu were strictly forbidden to marry their slaves, under pain of death. Most Ta'er families are hard working agriculturists. When a Ta'er girl becomes engaged to be married, she is allowed to "wander the hills" and sleep with her former boyfriends. After this time of immorality she is expected to settle down and be faithful to her husband.


The Ta'er believe that after death the soul of the deceased flies to heaven and becomes a star. The Ta'er have a centuries-old system of spirit worship which carefully appeases a host of vengeful demons. The Ta'er also worship their ancestors, especially those who have died within the past three generations.


Although missionary work was conducted extensively among Yi groups in the Wuding and Luquan areas of northern Yunnan and in parts of central and northeast Yunnan, few or no foreign missionaries have ever worked in Ninglang County. As a result, the Ta'er have no knowledge of the gospel today, and no access to a Christian witness.

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

People Name General Ta'er (Tah-ehr)
People Name in Country Ta'er
Population in China 1,300
World Population 1,300
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Ta'er (Tah-ehr)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18687
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 1,000 ethnic Ta'er people live in an unspecified location within Ninglang County in northern Yunnan Province. Ninglang borders Sichuan Province and is home to several ethnic groups..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nuosu (1,300)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nuosu 1,300
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 0.00 %)
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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