Woni in China

Joshua Project has identified the Woni only in China

Population

137,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Woni are part of the Hani nationality in China. The Hani are a collection of at least "17 subgroups who speak at least six (and probably closer to 12) mutually unintelligible dialects. ... Each group is characterized by its own identity and tribal costume." An early ethnographer Henry Davies said the Yi mixed with the Mon-Khmer peoples to form the Woni. There is some confusion because the name Woni was also formerly used to describe all Hani in China. The Woni profiled here, however, are a distinct ethnolinguistic group.


History

Most Woni are impoverished peasants. Their average life expectancy is just 58 years, compared to the high national average of 72 years for members of the Manchu nationality.


Customs

The Woni are perceived as shy and distrustful of outsiders. "Despite this, they are noted for their warm, genuine hospitality once one gets to know them. When a guest enters their home, he is offered wine and strong tea. If he declines, the family will be highly offended." The Woni celebrate the New Year Festival: "At noon on New Year's Day, an announcer throws three balls of blackened rice behind him to bid farewell to the old year. He then greets the new year by tossing three balls of white rice in front of him. Next, he pushes the ropes of a special swing and all of the people, regardless of sex or age, begin swinging." The most interesting part of a Woni woman's dress is the long piece of square cloth attached to the turban. "One wonders how comfortable it is ... this woman's annex to the turban."


Religion

The Woni venerate the spirits of their parents-in-law. Each year in the second lunar month they hold a grand offering service. The whole village participates in praying to the spirit world for health, prosperity, and an abundant harvest. There is also a strong Christian presence among the Woni.


Christianity

There are at least 48,000 Christians among the various Hani subgroups in China - the majority of whom are located in the Honghe Prefecture. Several thousand of these believers are members of the Woni ethnic group. In Mojiang County approximately 8,000 of the Hani believers are members of the government-sanctioned Three-Self Church. The Three-Self Movement has only one ordained pastor, Li Suyi, who was sent from Kunming to shepherd them. The remainder of the Christians belong to unregistered house churches.



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

People Name General Woni
People Name in Country Woni
Population in China 137,000
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Woniu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Woni
Ethnic Code MSY50i
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country Approximately 110,000 Woni live in Mojiang, Pu'er, and Simao counties in the southern part of Yunnan Province. The Woni plant crops and have rice paddies in places that others would consider an impossibility. Many Woni villages are situated at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters (4,800 ft.) above sea level.

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Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Language Unknown (137,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Language Unknown 137,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Category Resource
None reported  

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.63 %)
4.00 %
Ethnic Religions
89.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
7.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
100.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway © Copyrighted Used with permission
Profile Source:  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more  
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