Miao, Liupanshui in China

Provided by Joshua Project
Miao, Liupanshui
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2019
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Miao, Liupanshui
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 68,000
World Population: 68,000
Primary Language: Chinese, Xiang
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Miao / Hmong
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Identity

The Lupanshui Miao are a peculiarity. Scholars have found that although they are ethnically members of the Miao nationality, they speak the Xiang (Hunanese) Chinese language. Their dialect is similar to the Xiang language spoken in Dongkou County in western Hunan Province, at least 400 kilometers (247 mi.) from their present location. Today the Lupanshui Miao are linguistically distinct from all of the other Miao groups in western Guizhou. Other Miao people view the Lupanshui as a different group and usually do not intermarry with them.

History

The precise reason why the Lupanshui Miao migrated away from their homeland in Hunan Province is uncertain. The 1990 Chinese census listed only 304 Miao people still living in Dongkou County in Hunan, suggesting that almost the entire people group were transplanted across the province to their present-day location in Guizhou. Chinese military campaigns against the Miao are a likely reason for their migration. On certain occasions, the authorities uprooted whole communities and forced them to move to sensitive areas as guards and soldiers, and to spy on other Miao groups.

Customs

Since the mid-1980s there has been a growing desire among young people to move to Lupanshui City or one of the other economically thriving towns in the area, to find work in a factory or on a construction site.

Religion

The Lupanshui Miao are not a particularly religious people. Most of them are hardworking agriculturists who do not center their lives around religion. Many older Lupanshui Miao practice animism and still worship spirits and the elements of nature, but many of the youth are atheists.

Christianity

There are now some Christian believers among the Lupanshui Miao. Miao churches exist among other subgroups in the vicinity, but they speak languages very different from the Lupanshui. Christians in the Lupanshui area have experienced severe persecution in the past.

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