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Operation China, Asia Harvest All rights reserved. Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
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The Popei have been officially combined with dozens of other distinct ethnolinguistic peoples to form the Yi nationality in China. The Popei are widely known by their Chinese name, Shui Yi, meaning "water Yi." The Popei (Shui Yi) are often mistaken for the Shuitian (Watery Fields) group, but the two groups are distinct and speak separate languages. Popei is this group's autonym.
Although small in number, the Popei celebrate many traditional Yi festivals. These include the Garment Contest Festival which takes place in Zhijie Township of Yongren County every February. The Get-Together of Princes Festival is held in Longjie Township of Dayao County on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. The people throw water over each other, sing, dance, and create an edible "prince" which they bake and eat.
As the Popei were gradually absorbed by the Han Chinese, they adopted many of the Han's Daoist and ancestor worship rituals.
The region inhabited by the Popei is one of the least evangelized in all of Yunnan Province. Various hidden tribes and groups in the area are locked away by remote mountains and rushing streams. Roads into the area were only constructed in the 1950s. Before then access was only possible by foot or on horseback from the nearest town. The nearest churches are among the Nasu and Lipo in Wuding.
The Popeis need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers in John 10:10.
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 Popeis will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.