Za in China

Joshua Project has identified the Za only in China

Population

760

Christian

0.00%

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


The Amdo Tibetans

Source Asia Harvest                                                Download

Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

The Za ethnic group is one of the most fascinating examples of fusion in China today. About 200 years ago the Za were believed to be the same as today's Geman Deng people, but at that time Tibetan political and religious leaders entered the area and exerted their influence over the people there. The result is a new ethnic group called Za by the Tibetans, who speak a distinct language from the Deng and who practice different customs. The Za were not counted under any official nationality in the 1990 China census but instead were included in a list of Undetermined Minorities.


History

Two hundred years ago, the Tibetans entered this area and set up a combined rule of government and religion, and subsequently the original inhabitants of the area slowly became Tibetanized. The Tibetans ruled the Za with an iron fist. The Za were not even allowed to travel outside the area without prior permission of the monk or administrator. Today, the Za have changed from the Geman Deng so much that they deserve to be viewed as a distinct ethnolinguistic group.


Customs

The Za have lost the use of all of their original customs and festivals; these are still practiced by Geman Deng people who lived outside the influence of Tibetan rule. Culturally the Za have become identical to the Tibetans.


Religion

The forefathers of the Za people were polytheists, worshiping nature and a host of spirits. However, the Tibetans took over the area long ago, and today the Za have been thoroughly converted to the Tibetan Buddhist religion.


Christianity

Christianity has yet to make its presence felt in the isolated part of Tibet inhabited by the Za. Few roads led into the area until recently. Contact between the Za and the outside world is now possible. Today, the Za remain unaware of the existence of Christianity and are a completely unreached people group.



Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
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Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country Approximately 2,500 people belonging to an ethnic group called the Za live in a remote area of southeastern Tibet. The Za, who were originally a collection of tribal peoples including relatives of today's Geman Deng people, live between Xiachayu and the Wanong Valley in Zayu County. Very few foreigners have ever ventured into this extremely remote part of China.
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People Name General Za
People Name in Country Za
ROP3 Code 114372
Joshua Project People ID 18737
Indigenous Yes
Population in China 760
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group Deng Za, Deng Za Zayu, Zayu,
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tibetan, Amdo 755
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Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Name General Za
Ethnic Code MSY50#
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Largest Religion Buddhism
Buddhism
100.00%
Christianity
0.00%    ( Evangelical  0.00% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
0.00%
Protestant
0.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
0.00%
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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