Cona Monba in China


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Nearly three centuries ago the Monba people migrated across the Himalayas from the Moinyu area to southeast Tibet. Numerous Monba speakers today still live within the borders of India. Until 1959 the Monba were oppressed serfs of the Tibetans. They had to ask permission from the Tibetans just to make a journey.

The Monba are one of China's officially recognized nationalities. Cona Monba is "quite distinct linguistically" from Medog Monba. The speakers of the two Monba languages, which are part of the Eastern Himalayan branch of Tibeto-Burman, struggle to communicate with each other. The two groups must use Tibetan as a common language. Cona Monba has four tones, while Medog Monba does not contain any tones at all.

Cona Monba, which is known as Tsangla in Bhutan and India, live in the southern part of Tibet, particularly in Cona County. Others are scattered far to the northeast in Medog County. The majority of the speakers of this language live in eastern Bhutan. Approximately 44,000 also inhabit the Kameng District in Arunachal Pradesh, India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Monba are the only minority group in China to practice "river burial," by which a corpse is cut into 108 pieces and hurled into a rushing river to be washed away. The Tibetans consider this to be the lowest form of burial and only use it for children and lepers. Some Monba practice Tibetan bird burials. The number 20 is the basic counting unit of the Monba. Thus, 67 becomes three twenties plus seven, and so on. Monba silversmiths are renowned for their skill in making intricate jewelry and ornaments.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Although most Monba are outwardly Tibetan Buddhists, the majority continue to practice numerous shamanistic and polytheistic rituals. The Monba believe all disease is caused by demons. They feel they are forced to sacrifice their valuable cattle and horses in order to pacify these angry demons and cause the affliction to cease. They also believe humans can be demons who cause sickness. A boy or girl who marries into a "demon family" too becomes a demon. Therefore "demon families" are allowed to intermarry only.

The Monba are one of the most unreached and inaccessible people groups in all of China. They have no knowledge of the gospel. Few Christians have ever prayed for them. Foreigners are not permitted to enter their region from either the Tibetan or the southern side of the border. There are currently shortwave gospel radio broadcasts in the Tsangla language of Bhutan which perhaps can be heard and understood by the Cona Monba. In 1996 several Bhutanese Christians crossed into Tibet for the purpose of evangelism.


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 spiritual blindness and bondage to the evil one to be removed so they can understand and respond to Christ.

Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love.

Pray that the Cona Monba people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.


Scripture Prayers for the Monba, Cona in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Monpa Tawang
People Name in Country Monba, Cona
Natural Name Cona Monba
Population this Country 45,000
Population all Countries 54,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Awang; Monba; Monkit; Tawan; Tsangla Monpa; मोनपा, तवांग
People ID 19197
ROP3 Code 113801
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 Mongar district: east; Pemagatshel district: east; Samdrup Jongkhar and Trashigang districts; Trashiyangtse district: south.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
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 Mongar district: east; Pemagatshel district: east; Samdrup Jongkhar and Trashigang districts; Trashiyangtse district: south..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Tshangla (45,000 speakers)
Language Code tsj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tshangla (45,000 speakers)
Language Code tsj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tshangla

Primary Language:  Tshangla

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2000)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2014)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
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
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tshangla Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
80.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.02 %)
0.03 %
Ethnic Religions
19.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.97 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
100.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more