The Kado of China
China is a land of great diversity in geography, climate, languages, and ethnic groups. It is home to approximately 180 distinct groups, including the 105,600 Kado who live in the southern part of Yunnan Province in south central China. Their language, also called Kado, exists in six dialects. The Kado dwell in two sub-groups in China and also have a large group living in Myanmar. Although their exact origin is not known, legends say that their nomadic ancestors gradually migrated south from a far away northern plain. Since their language, is of the Tibeto-Burmese group, some believe that they originated in Tibet.
The region of China in which the Kado live is near the Myanmar border and is characterized by forested mountains, abundant rainfall, and rich soil. The farmers are noted for building tiered terraces along steep mountain slopes. Their small farming villages usually consist of 30 to 40 homes. Centuries of isolation in the high mountain terrain have left the Kado socially and economically backward.
What Are Their Lives Like
The family is considered to be very important among the Kado. Some aspects of family life, however, differ from region to region. For instance, monogamy (one husband, one wife) is the rule in some areas, while polygamy (multiple spouses) is practiced in others. "Family order" is both patriarchal (male dominated) and patrilineal, meaning that a male child becomes part of the father's lineage, while a female will become part of her husband's lineage. Male children are given names that are connected with their father's name, but females are not.
The Kado are well known for their sincere hospitality. When a guest enters a Kado home, he is offered wine and strong tea. If he declines the drinks, the family will be highly offended; if he drinks them, the host will generously serve him with the finest he has to offer.
The Kado celebrate several major festivals each year, the most notable being the New Year festival. This seven day event is celebrated at harvest time, during the tenth month. At noon on New Year's Day, an announcer throws three balls of blackened rice behind him to bid farewell to the old year. He then greets the new year by tossing three balls of white rice in front of him. Next, he pushes the ropes of a special swing and all of the people, regardless of sex or age, begin swinging. (They believe that this will ward off disaster and ensure a prosperous year.) That evening, the villagers celebrate around a bonfire. At midnight, the frame of the swing is cut down to signify the end of the festival and the beginning of a new work year.
During times of celebration, the Kado wear attractive tribal costumes of hand-woven cotton dyed blue or black. The men wear distinctive jackets and turbans, while the women wear collarless blouses and special caps.
What Are Their Belief?
Traditionally, Kado beliefs were a combination of animism (belief that non-human objects have spirits) polytheism (belief in many gods), and ancestor worship (praying to the dead for blessings or guidance). Trees in the "holy hills" were believed to be their guardian spirits. Today, they still adhere to similar beliefs, although some are Buddhist. They are very superstitious and view certain events, such as the birth of twins or handicapped children, as unlucky. These children are killed, their parents banished, and their homes and possessions burned. They believe in the existence of many ruling spirits, such as spirits that rule over heaven and earth, spirits that protect their villages, and evil spirits that bring diseases.
The Kado have three major religious leaders. The zuima is a male from the oldest household who directs all religious activities. The beima are males who perform magic and exorcisms. Male and female nima are in charge of making predictions and administering medicinal herbs.
What Are Their Needs?
Since China's government strictly forbids Christianity, there are currently no missions agencies working among the Kado. The Bible has not yet been translated into their language, and there are no Christian broadcasts in their area. Intercession and missions activity are needed for them to hear the Gospel.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities that are keeping the Kado bound.
- Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Kado through dreams and visions.
- Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agency that is targeting the Kado.
- Pray that God will give the Kado believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
- Ask God to speed the completion of the Jesus film and other evangelistic materials into the Kado language.
- Pray that the doors of China will soon open to missionaries.
- Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Kado Christians.
- Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Kado by the year 2000.
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Kado
- Country: China
- Their language: Kado (Katu, Asak)
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 2%
- Church members: 2,112
- Scriptures in their own language: Portions
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 1
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 22,200 (21%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 83,400
- Country: China
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 42
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
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