Youmai in China

Joshua Project has identified the Youmai only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



When the Chinese authorities first surveyed the ethnolinguistic composition of Guizhou Province in the 1950s, they found the Youmai people group so distinct that they were unable to place them under any of the officially recognized nationalities that had been created. By the time of the 1982 census, the Youmai were still unclassified and were placed in a generic list of Undetermined Minorities. The status for this small group changed in 1985 when the Youmai were included as part of the Yao nationality. This classification has not been appreciated by the Youmai, who see themselves as a completely distinct group with no relationship to other minorities in southern China. Living in a nation where governmental decisions are not open to debate, the Youmai have little choice but to accept their bureaucratic identity. The people living near them, however, recognize them as a distinct ethnic group.


The Youmai may be related to the various Bunu people groups in Guizhou, who are culturally Yao but linguistically Hmong people. After more than a thousand years of living near the Yao, these groups have absorbed many of their customs and habits.


The Youmai observe several key festivals throughout the year, including the Zhuzhu Festival. The date set for the festival is believed to be the birthday of their foremother, Miluotuo, in the fifth month of the lunar calendar. The Huiqi Festival is held at the same time as the Autumn Festival in other parts of China. Traditional singing contests are held, and people from the countryside crowd into the village which has been chosen as the sponsor for that year. Hosts entertain guests with sumptuous food. No festival or celebration is conducted by the Youmai without copious amounts of rice wine and whiskey being served.


Spirit worship, ancestor worship, and Daoism are the three most prevalent religious beliefs among the Youmai.


Because researchers have yet to find the exact location of the Youmai in Guizhou Province, nothing is known of the status of Christianity among them. Few people groups in this part of China, however, have ever heard the gospel.

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

People Name General Youmai (You-my)
People Name in Country Youmai
Population in China 2,700
World Population 2,700
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Youmairen
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Yao-Mien
People Name General Youmai (You-my)
Ethnic Code MSY47b
People ID 18732
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 About 2,000 people belonging to the little-known Youmai ethnic group live in an unspecified part of southern Guizhou Province in southern China. Although no location for the Youmai has ever been given, the few members of the Yao nationality - under which the Youmai were included - in Guizhou Province live in a few pockets along the southeast and southern parts of the province..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Iu Mien (2,700)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Iu Mien 2,700
For Primary Language: Iu Mien

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1932-1996)
New Testament Yes   (1975-1991)
Complete Bible Yes   (2008)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Lao Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (New Roman Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Old Roman Script Script) Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mien Bible (Thai Script) Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Iu Mien Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
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
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
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
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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