Tai Pong in China

Joshua Project has identified the Tai Pong only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The official classification of the Tai Pong is confusing. Most Tai Pong have been included in the Dai nationality by the Chinese government, but others have been included under the Zhuang. In addition, there are various subgroups among the Tai Pong - such as the La and the You - which may qualify as distinct ethnolinguistic groups. Little research has been conducted into the relatively obscure Tai Pong.


Records of contact between the Tai and the Chinese date back to 109 BC when Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty established the Yizhou Prefecture in presentday southern China. The Tai sent tribute to the Han Court at Luoyang and also sent musicians and acrobats to entertain the emperors. The Han Court gave the title "Great Captain" to the Tai chief. The Tai Pong have lived along the Red River for centuries. They use the same script as the Tai Dam and Tai Kao, which suggests historical kinship between these different groups.


Many of the Tai Pong are indistinguishable from the local Chinese and Hani, alongside whom they have lived for many generations. Most Tai Pong no longer wear traditional clothing, nor do they celebrate any of their own historical festivals.


Because the Tai Pong live at the eastern extremity of the Tai groups in China, they did not come under the influence of Theravada Buddhism when it first arrived from India. They have retained their polytheistic and shamanistic practices, although many of the younger generation of Tai Pong are nonreligious and consider themselves atheists.


There are a small number of Christians today among the Tai Pong. Mission activity among them was already underway in 1919. In 1945 missionary John Kuhn joyously reported his visit to a mission station among the Tai Pong: "I shall never forget the Red River Valley. At Mosha I attended the twenty-fifth anniversary of the formation of the Shan [Tai] church and school there." Presently, however, the majority of Tai Pong have yet to receive a clear gospel witness. The small number of known Tai Pong believers are concentrated in one or two areas.

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

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-30
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-07-25
People Name General Tai Pong (Tie-Pong)
People Name in Country Tai Pong
Population in China 115,000
World Population 115,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dai, La, Pong, You
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tai
People Name General Tai Pong (Tie-Pong)
Ethnic Code MSY49a
People ID 18691
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 Various subgroups comprising the Tai Pong language group live in a widely scattered area along the banks of the Honghe River in the southern extremity of Yunnan Province..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tai Nua: Tai Pong (115,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tai Nua: Tai Pong 115,000
For Primary Language: Tai Nua

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1931-1948)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.22 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
70.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
29.50 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
80.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
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

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.