Manmet in China

Provided by Joshua Project
Manmet
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2019
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Manmet
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,800
World Population: 1,800
Primary Language: Man Met
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Identity

The Manmet were counted separately in the 1982 Chinese census and then combined into a large group of Undetermined Minorities. In the 1950s the Manmet applied to the central government in a bid to be recognized as a distinct minority group, but their application was rejected. Today the Manmet are looked down upon by both the neighboring Han Chinese and the Tai Lu people.

History

In the twelfth century AD, a number of different tribes united with the Tai to establish the Jinglong Golden Hall Kingdom. The Nanzhao Kingdom, centered at Dali in central Yunnan, was overthrown by the advancing Mongol hordes of Kublai Khan in AD 1253. Thousands of minority people fled from the savage Mongols. Those who survived settled into the dozens of ethnic communities which sprang up in southern Yunnan. It was also at this time that the great Mon-Khmer race began to split into smaller, more distinct political units. The Manmet are one group today who owe their existence to this tumultuous period of history.

Customs

The Manmet are experts at tilling their sharply angled fields which seem to cling to the sides of the mountains. Every available patch of land near their villages is used for food production. They grow rice, corn, sugarcane, bananas, and various kinds of vegetables. They also raise chickens, water buffaloes, and pigs. Most Manmet women stay at home, but some earn income by selling produce at the Jinghong market. In recent years many Manmet youth have moved to the cities in search of education and work.

Religion

Most Manmet adhere to a mixture of animism and Theravada Buddhism, which is the prevalent religion in the Xishuangbanna region. Around Jinghong there are numerous temples, which serve as the focal point of each community's social life as well as a place for practising religious rituals.

Christianity

Christian churches, hospitals, and schools were established by Presbyterian missionaries in Jinghong during the 1930s and 1940s. "The people readily received the Gospel, but for many, it was very difficult to renounce sin; for them their faith was nominal. ... During the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976] ... many leaders of the church were killed." Although missionaries were active in the Jinghong area, the shy Manmet escaped their attention. Few Manmet people today have any awareness of the gospel or the name of Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Operation China, Asia Harvest  Copyrighted © 2019  Used with permission