Muji, Northern in China

Muji, Northern
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Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Muji, Northern
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 15,000
World Population: 15,000
Primary Language: Muji, Northern
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.07 %
Evangelicals: 0.07 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Muji were first listed in a 1903 survey of the tribes of western China. Today, even though they consider themselves a distinct people group with their own traditional dress and language. Their language is one of the so-called Yi languages, which is actually a conglomerate of various tribal languages, often with different linguistic roots.

Where Are they Located?

Over the the last 200 years the Muji have been pushed deep into the mountains by Han Chinese and settlers from other minority groups. Those who chose to stay in the plains were soon assimilated.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Because their villages are located high in the mountains often on rocky soil, the staple food of the Muji is maize, which grows well in such conditions.

Although Muji women north of the Honghe River wear an intricately decorated headdress which covers their entire head, their counterparts south of the river prefer to wear theirs differently. The southern Muji women have a peculiar custom of braiding their long hair into one thick braid and wrapping the braid around their foreheads. A decorative headdress is then worked into the braid producing a lovely, natural crown.

What Are Their Beliefs?

When a baby is born to a Muji couple, the child is thought to need a godfather and godmother. When the child turns six or seven years old, a suitable relative or friend is chosen who will provide protection and safety through life and into the afterlife. "A ceremony is held for which the parents prepare chicken and whisky and take the child to the home of his or her selected godfather and godmother. The godparents bestow a surname on the child, and then give the child symbolic jewelry and clothing. The ceremony comes to an end when the 'spirit rope' is fastened around the child's wrist. The spirit rope is thought to ensure the safe passage of the child's soul through life and into death."

What Are Their Needs?

The Muji people need to find their way to the Savior who can take away their fear of the spirit world and replace it with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Points

Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Northern Muji people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Northern Muji families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Northern Muji people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
Pray for the lives and culture of the Northern Muji people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Text Source:   Keith Carey