Nosu, Butuo in China

Nosu, Butuo
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Nosu, Butuo
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 274,000
World Population: 274,000
Primary Language: Nuosu
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.05 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Nosu
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Butuo Nosu originally lived farther north of their present location. Speaking of a neighboring area in northern Yunnan Province, one historian notes, "Between 1796 and 1821, the Chinese extended their influence. At times when the Chinese were weak, the [Nosu] expanded out of Daliangshan: for example, in 1802, 1814, 1838-39, and from 1875 to 1892. By 1907, the Nosu controlled most areas, with the Chinese fortified in the towns. During the troubled times of the early Republic, the number of Chinese troops was reduced in the area, and the Nosu consequently became more troublesome: in 1919, they invaded Zhaojue, in 1920 they burned Xining, and in 1937 they killed the magistrate of Leibo."

The Butuo Nosu are a distinct language group within the larger Nosu ethnicity. The Nosu, in turn, have been officially counted as part of the Yi nationality by Chinese authorities. The Butuo Nosu share very little in common with other Yi groups in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi, except for some legends and general cultural traits. In many locations the Butuo Nosu live alongside the Suodi.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Butuo Nosu pride themselves on being tough, resilient, and strong people. Their homes and villages are constructed with high fences, a sign of their violent and murderous past.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Butuo Nosu practice a complex form of polytheism. They fear and appease numerous mountain deities and spirits of war, harvests, and rivers, among others. They tie these beliefs in with deep reverence for their ancestors.

The Butuo Nosu are a large, unreached people group. There are a few hundred Catholics among them, mostly elderly people who meet in Chinese-language churches. We don’t know if the turning to Christ by 12,000 Nosu farther north has impacted the Butuo Nosu. Nosu audio tapes and the JESUS Film are not understood by most Butuo Nosu.

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 Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.

Pray for loving workers.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.

Text Source:   Joshua Project