Naxi in China

The Naxi have only been reported in China
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Since migrating from Tibet, the Naxi have lived in Lijiang approximately 1,000 years. References in Naxi literature to Lake Manasarovar and Mt. Kailas, both in farwestern Tibet, confirm the Naxi's origins. By the time the Mongol hordes swept through Lijiang in 1253, it was already populated by 1,000 families. On 3 February 1996, a huge earthquake shook Lijiang and surrounding districts. Three hundred people died, 40,000 were injured, and 300,000 were made homeless.

The Naxi have been combined with several smaller groups to form one of China's official minorities. The Naxi trace their origins to an elephant-headed god named Tabu, who helped them hatch from magic eggs. The name Naxi means "respectable people."

One of the most distinctive aspects of Naxi culture is their ancient pictographic script. The Naxi developed the system of 1,500 pictographs more than 1,000 years ago, perhaps so they could record their religious laws before setting out to their new lands. Today some 20,000 Naxi manuscripts appear in museums and private collections in China and around the world. The pictographs were only read by the Dongbas - priests of the Dongba religion. In 1995 only three old men, aged 71, 76, and 86, could read the Naxi script. Naxi consists of three main dialects. A Naxi-English dictionary exists.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Naxi society is traditionally known for its matriarchal practices. For centuries, all property and assets were passed down through the woman's side of the family. Naxi men were only entitled to visit their azhu (walk-in friend) at night for sexual purposes, and to return at dawn to their mother's house. Matriarchal society started to subside in 1723 when Lijiang came under Chinese control. Naxi women protested their falling status by killing themselves. The annual "Sacrifice to Heaven" was last practiced in Lijiang in 1949. The favored way of dying was by taking poison. Today, matriarchal customs are seen more among the Mosuo farther to the north.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Although today many Naxi are nonreligious, in the 1940s there were more than 4,000 Naxi Dongba priests. Their religion was "characterized by a fascination with power and wonder-working, and belief in a multitude of gods and demons who are manipulated with magic."

The first missionaries to the Naxi arrived in 1912. By 1930 there were eight or nine baptized Naxi believers. In 1932 the Dutch Pentecostal Mission Society translated Scripture portions into Naxi, but these are now obsolete. In the early 1950s the Naxi church was destroyed by the communists. Today there are a small number of Naxi believers in Lijiang, and there are Naxi Catholics mixed in with Lisu and Tibetan congregations farther north. More than 1,000 Naxi are members of the Mentu Hui cult, founded by Ji Sanbao, who claims to be a Second Christ.


What Are Their Needs?

Without the guidance of Christ, these people are like sheep without a shepherd. They need the good shepherd in their families and communities.


Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders to happen among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.


Scripture Prayers for the Naxi in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

The Naxi, Mosuo, Pumi, and Lisu
Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-04
People Name General Naxi
People Name in Country Naxi
Pronunciation Na-shee
Population this Country 343,000
Population all Countries 343,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 3  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 7
Alternate Names Lomi; Moso; Mu; Nachi; Na-His; Nahsi; Na-Hsi; Nakhi; Nasi
People ID 18630
ROP3 Code 114251
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country More than 270,000 Naxi are located in northern Yunnan Province, especially in Lijiang County, at the foot of the sacred and majestic Jade Dragon Mountain. The perennially snowcapped mountain towers 5,596 meters (18,350 ft.) above the Lijiang plain. Small numbers of Naxi live in Sichuan Province1 and possibly in Myanmar.   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country More than 270,000 Naxi are located in northern Yunnan Province, especially in Lijiang County, at the foot of the sacred and majestic Jade Dragon Mountain. The perennially snowcapped mountain towers 5,596 meters (18,350 ft.) above the Lijiang plain. Small numbers of Naxi live in Sichuan Province1 and possibly in Myanmar..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Map of Naxi in China Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Naxi (343,000 speakers)
Language Code nxq   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Naxi (343,000 speakers)
Language Code nxq   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Naxi

Primary Language:  Naxi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1932)
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Naxi
Film / Video Life After the Earthquake
Film / Video Life After the Earthquake
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Naxi
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.07 %)
0.80 %
Ethnic Religions
94.20 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
20.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
40.0 %
Protestant
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
40.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Lee Snider - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Video Source Asia Harvest
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more