Yiche in China

Joshua Project has identified the Yiche only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Yiche are part of the Hani nationality in China. Yiche women are unique among all the peoples of China because they wear shorts. They also wear conical hats, similar to the Jino people, and shortsleeved blue blouses held together by five-colored girdles. "The clothes are layered one on top of each other, numbering from six to more than a dozen. ... The layers indicate a family's financial standing. Women wear black shorts with pleats at the legs."


Little is known about the origins of the Yiche people, because they have never possessed a written script. Legends are handed down orally from generation to generation. The Yiche say they were once part of a tribe of 7,000 families, living "on a vast fertile plain away in the east where the sun rises."


Yiche houses are two stories high and have tiled roofs. The upper floor serves as a storehouse and the lower floor as the living quarters. Every year in the fifth lunar month the Yiche celebrate the Kuzhazha Festival. "According to traditional custom, every family must light pine torches after sunset. Burning torches in hand, they walk around the house to perform a 'mopping up' and then follow a forked chestnut rod to the top of the road outside the hamlet and place the torches beside the chestnut rod. This drives evil away from the house ensuring the coming year is filled with peace and happiness."


The Yiche are polytheists. "Most of their villages have temples where a multitude of gods are worshipped. These gods are associated with the earth, water, and fire, as well as famous ancestors. It is common for brothers of the same family to worship their dead parents at the eldest brother's house." On the lunar New Year's Eve, Yiche children hear stories about their ancestors and learn their family genealogies.


Some parts of Honghe Prefecture experienced a mass people movement to Christ in the 1940s as a result of the labors of missionaries. During the Cultural Revolution great persecution broke out against the church. Many fledgling believers fell away, but others "conducted Sunday services in cattle stables or on mountain peaks." Today most believers in the area are Kado or Biyo, but there may be a few Yiche Christians.

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

People Name General Yiche (Yee-cher)
People Name in Country Yiche
Population in China 24,000
World Population 24,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Yeche
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Hani
People Name General Yiche (Yee-cher)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18728
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 19,000 members of the Yiche tribe inhabit isolated villages in the Ailao Mountains. They are located in parts of Chegu, Landi, and Dayangjie townships. Honghe Prefecture is divided by two large rivers: the Honghe (Red) River which flows south into Vietnam and the Nanpanjiang River which is the upper section of the Pearl River. Banana, pineapple, and pomegranate are grown, while sugarcane, peanuts, and tobacco are important cash crops..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hani (24,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hani 24,000
For Primary Language: Hani

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
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 0.51 %)
0.70 %
Ethnic Religions
94.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.30 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
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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