Talu in China

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Talu
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 15,000
World Population: 15,000
Primary Language: Talu
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.14 %
Evangelicals: 0.14 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Tai
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Little is known about the Talu, except that they have been officially included under the Yi nationality in China. The Talu, who are also known as the Talusu, have never before appeared in any mission lists of people groups in China.

Despite the existence of a number of smaller Northern Yi-speaking groups in China, most sources, when speaking of the Northern Yi, do not mention any groups other than the dominant Nosu people. Jamin Pelkey explains, "The great, proud Nosu of Sichuan clasp the imagination with their history of slavery and savagery. As a result, much attention has been paid to the details and nuances of their culture while the linguistic and ethnic diversity of the tribes and peoples included in their numbers have gone unheeded. ... The Nosu population also spills over into Yunnan, and by paying closer attention to detail in Yongsheng and Ninglang counties, what was previously thought to be Nosu has exploded into nine other small, and previously unknown tribes and peoples whose autonyms and dialects are distinct from the Nosu around them."

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Talu believe that when people are sick it is the result of a demonic curse. Often the sick are abandoned to a room where they stay until they show signs of improvement.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Talu, and some of the neighboring Yi peoples, observe funeral customs that are designed to help the soul of the deceased find rest: "the horse which the deceased used to ride is brought to the door and saddled by the exorcist. The command is then given to lead the horse to the grave. All the mourners follow, and, marching or dancing in intertwining circles, cross and re-cross the path of the horse until the poor creature, bewildered and frantic with fear, rushes and kicks in a wild confusion. The whole company thereupon raise a great shout, and say, 'The soul has come to ride the horse! The soul has come to ride the horse!'"

Few parts of China have been so thoroughly neglected by the ambassadors of Christianity than the areas inhabited by the Talu. Yongsheng, Ninglang, and Huaping counties are practically entirely devoid of any Christian presence. As a result, the Talu are a completely unreached and unevangelized people group with no knowledge of Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

The Talu people need to put their trust and identity in the hands of the loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.

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 the Talu 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.

Text Source:   Joshua Project