Paiwan in China


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Paiwan are one of three tribes, along with the Ami and Bunun, who were combined to form the official Gaoshan nationality in China. The name Gaoshan means "high mountain" in Chinese and is not the name of a specific ethnic group or language. The Paiwan believe they originated from an egg. Their legends say the sun laid two eggs that were hatched by a green snake.

In the past the Paiwan had a fearsome reputation as head-hunters. When Paiwan warriors returned home from a headhunting foray, "the women would welcome their “heroes” and sing songs of victory. People hung the heads of their enemies on stone pillars in front of offerings of wine. The sacrificial rite started, and their sorcerers consulted the soul of the dead. They took a tuft of hair from the head to use for divination.

During the civil war, between 1946 and 1949, many Paiwan men were forcibly enlisted in the anti-communist Kuomintang forces. When the war ended, some of the Paiwan remained behind in China and formed their own communities.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Unlike other tribes in Taiwan, Paiwan society is divided into classes with a hereditary aristocracy. The Paiwan are not allowed to marry outside their tribe. Traditionally, men who were seeking a wife had to cut down many trees for firewood for the bride-to-be’s family.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Traditionally the Paiwan have been polytheists. Their wooden carvings included images of human heads, snakes, deer, and geometric designs. In Taiwan, the Bataul branch of the Paiwan tribe holds a major sacrifice—called maleveq—every five years to invite the spirits of their ancestors to come and bless them.

Christianity first came to the Paiwan people in the seventeenth century, when Taiwan was occupied by the Dutch. More than 5,000 tribesmen became Christians after only ten years, but all of them were massacred in 1661 when Cheng Gong Zheng liberated Taiwan. The missionaries were either killed or driven away, and the churches were destroyed. Thousands of Paiwan people in Taiwan came to Christ in the late 1940s and 1950s. Whole villages embraced the good news and appropriated Christ's pardon and offer of salvation. Today the Presbyterian church in Taiwan claims 14,900 Paiwan members, meeting in 96 congregations. The New Testament has been translated into Paiwan but is not available in Mainland China.


What Are Their Needs?

The Paiwan people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers them in John 10:10.


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 that the Paiwan 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.


Scripture Prayers for the Paiwan in China.


References

Operation China, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Paiwanese
People Name in Country Paiwan
Pronunciation pie-WAHN
Population this Country 700
Population all Countries 99,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Batanglu; Kadas; Kale-whan; Kapiangan; Katausan; Li-li-sha; Paiuan; Payowan; Samobi; Samohai; Saprek; Stimul; Tamari
People ID 14262
ROP3 Code 107762
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Several hundred members of the Paiwan tribe live in and around the city of Zhangzhou in the southern part of Fujian Province. The great majority of Paiwan, 81,000, are located in southern Taiwan.   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Country China
Region Asia, Northeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Several hundred members of the Paiwan tribe live in and around the city of Zhangzhou in the southern part of Fujian Province. The great majority of Paiwan, 81,000, are located in southern Taiwan..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Paiwan (700 speakers)
Language Code pwn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Paiwan (700 speakers)
Language Code pwn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Paiwan

Primary Language:  Paiwan

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1959-1993)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1973-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1993)
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more