Malimasa 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: Malimasa
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 600
World Population: 600
Primary Language: Naxi
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tibeto-Burman, other
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The history of the Malimasa is shrouded in uncertainty, but their language suggests that they were once part of the Mosuo people who are today concentrated a considerable distance northeast of Weixi, on the Yunnan-Sichuan border. The Malimasa are still a purely matriarchal and matrilineal society, with women in complete control of all finances, possessions, and decision-making.

The other people in the Weixi region say they have viewed the Malimasa as a separate people group for at least one hundred years. The Chinese authorities, however, have included the Malimasa under the official Naxi nationality.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Malimasa wear their own traditional dress, distinct from all other groups in the area. Women wear a large turban wrapped around their heads. Sickness and disease have long plagued people in this part of China.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Malimasa are virtually all Tibetan Buddhist. There are a number of Tibetan, Lisu, and Naxi Christians in the Weixi area, but they have had little impact on the staunch belief system of the Malimasa.

Catholic missionaries from the Grand St. Bernard Order commenced work at Latsa Pass near Weixi in 1931. Several Protestant families also lived in Weixi prior to 1949. The great missionary statesman Hudson Taylor, writing of China's needs in general, stated, "The harvest here is indeed great, and the laborers are few and imperfectly fitted for such a work. And yet grace can make a few feeble instruments the means of accomplishing great things - things greater even than we can conceive." Taylor's passionate desire was that national believers would be given the leadership of their own churches and have control over their own affairs. He wrote, "I look upon foreign missionaries as the scaffolding around a rising building. The sooner it can be dispensed with, the better; or rather, the sooner it can be transferred to other places, to serve the same temporary use, the better."

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 authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders to happen among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project