Bunun in Taiwan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Bunun, the Ami, and the Paiwan are the three tribes which have been combined to form the official Gaoshan (High Mountain) nationality in China.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Bunun sometimes "practice the extraction of certain front teeth as a sign of social identity as well as adulthood. The Bunun are good singers and often sing when working." When a Bunun dies, that person is buried in a crouching position beneath the hearthstone of the family home. Traditionally, "the body was first wrapped in cloth and placed on an open platform for three years; following this first stage, the bones were removed and buried beneath the house."

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bunun believe humans was started when a gourd fell from heaven. It split open, and the first man and woman emerged. They also have a legend about a great flood long ago. They say it was caused by a snake which blocked up the river until all the earth was inundated. The Bunun have many theories about their origins. "One is that they originated from a branch of the ancient Yue nationality on mainland China and then mixed with Aborigines from Malaysia and the Ryukyu Islands."
Traditionally the Bunun in Taiwan were polytheists, but today most are Christians. "Bunun oral tradition mentions periodic offerings to the moon, upon which the agricultural calendar is based, but information on the original Bunun religion is too scarce to show clearly to what extent the moon and dehanin (heaven) may have been personified. In addition to the male hereditary priesthood, charged with the management of agricultural rituals, the Bunun had male shamans along with female ones. The shamans' concern was sickness and sorcery."

What Are Their Needs?

In 1946 there were no Christians among the Bunun in Taiwan. By 1959, however, converts numbered 8,881 and had increased to 12,234 by 1969. Today the Presbyterians alone have 14,990 Bunun believers in 76 churches. Hu Wen-chih, who was used by God to win many Bunun to Christ in Taiwan, also translated the New Testament into Bunun in 1973. The Bunun church in Taiwan has sent missionaries out to Japan and Borneo. The Bunun in China, however, have never experienced a revival and cannot read the Bunun Bible that is only available in Taiwan.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to thrust out Bunun Christ followers to the unsaved Bunun people in China.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move throughout Bunun churches, giving them a desire to follow Christ with all their hearts.

Scripture Prayers for the Bunun in Taiwan.


Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Bunun
People Name in Country Bunun
Pronunciation Boo-non
Alternate Names Bubukun; Bunan; Bunti; Bunum; Vonun; Vunum; Vunun; Vunung
Population this Country 57,000
Population all Countries 59,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 6  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 18425
ROP3 Code 114020
ROP25 Code 301484
ROP25 Name Bunun
Country Taiwan
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Chiayi, Hualien, Nantou, and Taitung counties; New Taipei municipality; East central plain.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Taiwan
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Chiayi, Hualien, Nantou, and Taitung counties; New Taipei municipality; East central plain..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 14.00 %)
75.00 %
Ethnic Religions
25.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Bunun
Language Code bnn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bunun
Language Code bnn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bunun

Primary Language:  Bunun

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1952-1990)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1964-1983)
Bible-Complete Yes
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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