20,000 (Bradley 2007). Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,000 (Bradley 2007).
Yunnan Province, Guandu district, Kunming city, Ala and surrounding communities, 47 villages; west Yiliang County, 7 villages.
Extinct in some villages close to Kunming, severely endangered to the east in northeast Guandu and Yiliang, endangered in Ala Township, which is the center of the Samei distribution and where most villages are entirely or largely Samei (2007). Few fluent young speakers, though many children have a passive understanding (2007).
Officially classified within Yi nationality. Traditional religion.