Uzemchin in Mongolia

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People Name: Uzemchin
Country: Mongolia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,400
World Population: 2,400
Primary Language: Mongolian, Peripheral
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.70 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Mongolian
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Uzemchin Mongols live in south and east Mongolia. They are one of the smaller groups of the Mongols who are not Khalkhas, who make up 70% of the Mongolian population. The vast majority of the Uzemchin Mongols live in Inner Mongolian in the north central region of the China. In 1945 a group of 2000 Uzemchins left Inner Mongolia for the nation of Outer Mongolia. These people are the Uzemchins who live in east Mongolia today.

The traditions of the Uzemchin lifestyle are similar to other Mongols. They practice a nomadic life based on seeking water and greenery for their herds and flocks of animals. Illiteracy is a major problem for the Uzemchin. Their children often quit school early to help with the animals that their family owns and cares for.

The Uzemchin speak Peripheral Mongolian. They also understand and speak Khalkha or Halh Mongolian, the main language of the nation. The New Testament and the JESUS Film are available in Peripheral Mongolian.

Where Are they Located?

The Uzemchin Mongols live in south and east Mongolia. Many more live in Inner Mongolia in China.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The life of the Uzemchin depends upon where they live. Most roam the Mongolian countryside searching for water and grass for their animals. They raise horses, cattle, yaks, camel, sheep and goats. They live in a circular tent called a yurt. The yurt may be taken down and moved easily. In winter they travel down to warmer plains of the lower elevations. In summer they seek the cooler temperatures and greenery of the higher mountain valleys. The Mongols have practiced these movements for hundreds of years. Some Uzemchins are moving to the cities. They want to take advantage of economic and educational opportunities found in the cities.

The diet of the Uzemchin consists mainly of animal products, meat and dairy. Their favorite drink is fermented mare's milk. The Uzemchin trade meat, dairy products and skins for household items they are unable to make for themselves.

Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Sons inherit the tents and animals of their father.
The Uzemchin hold a large yearly meeting, which has become something of a tourist attraction. At this meeting, they eat a special mixture of millet and renew their social ties with other clans.
Because the cold climate, the Uzemchin must wear heavy clothing. The distinctive dresses of the women are full of bright colors, intricate embroidery and long chains of beads. These dresses can be considered a form of their artistic expression.

What Are Their Beliefs?

A little over half of the Uzemchin claim to be Tibetans Buddhists. They mix their Buddhism with folk religion. The Uzemchin consult a local clan shaman for medical problems before they see a physician. The shaman performs rituals to appease evil spirits and to try to ensure the health of people and their animals.

Almost one third of the Uzemchin profess no religion. This is probably a result of the influence of the Soviet Union, which dominated Mongolian government from the 1920s to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. There is a tiny group of Christians among the Uzemchin.

What Are Their Needs?

The Uzemchin need help in educating their children. They would benefit with access to modern medicine and veterinary science. Most of all the Uzemchin need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can forgive their sins and give them protection from the evil spirits they fear.

Prayer Points

Pray the Lord sends workers to the Uzemchin so that they can hear the gospel.
Pray the small group of Uzemchin believers is established in the faith and desire to share the good news with their brothers and sisters.
Pray the Lord opens the hearts of the Uzemchin so they might be receptive to the truths given in the Bible.

Text Source:   Keith Carey