Cover Image

Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China

Stevan Harrell (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 332 pages
ISBN: 9780520219892
March 2001
$33.95, £28.00
Nearly seven million Yi people live in Southwest China, but most educated people outside China have never heard of them. This book, the first scholarly study in a Western language on the Yi in four decades, brings this little-known part of the world to life. Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China is a remarkable collection of work by both Yi and foreign scholars describing their history, traditional society, and recent social changes.

In addition to being valuable as an ethnographic study, this book is also an experiment in communication among three discourses: the cosmopolitan disciplines of history and the social sciences, the Chinese discourse of ethnology and ethnohistory, and the Yi folk discourse of genealogy and ritual. This book uses the case of the Yi to conduct an international conversation across formerly isolated disciplines.
List of Tables, Maps, and Figures
Introduction, by Stevan Harrell

PART ONE: The Yi in History
1. Reconstructing Yi History from Yi Records, by Wu Gu
2. Nzymo as Seen in Some Yi Classical Books, by Wu Jingzhong

PART TWO: Nuosu Society in Liangshan
3. A Comparative Approach to Lineages among the Xiao Liangshan Nuosu and Han, by Ann Maxwell Hill and Eric Diehl
4. Preferential Bilateral-Cross-Cousin Marriage among the Nuosu in Liangshan, by Lu Hui
5. Names and Genealogies among the Nuosu of Liangshan, by Ma Erzi
6. Homicide and Homicide Cases in Old Liangshan, by Qubi Shimei and Ma Erzi
7. Searching for the Heroic Age of the Yi People of Liangshan, by Liu Yu
8. On the Nature and Transmission of Bimo Knowledge in Liangshan, by Bamo Ayi

PART THREE: Yi Society in Yunnan
9. The Cold Funeral of the Nisu Yi, by Li Yongxiang
10. A Valley-House: Remembering a Yi Headmanship by Erik Mueggler
11. Native Place and Ethnic Relations in Lunan Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan, by Margaret Byrne Swain

PART FOUR: The Yi Today
12. Language Policy for the Yi, by David Bradley
13. Nationalities Conflict and Ethnicity in the People’s Republic of China, with Special Reference to the Yi in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, by Thomas Heberer
14. Education and Ethnicity among the Liangshan Yi, by Martin Schoenhals
15. Nuosu Women’s Economic Role in Ninglang, Yunnan, under the Reforms, by Wu Ga (Vugashynyumo Luovu)
16. The Yi Health Care System in Liangshan and Chuxiong, by Xiaoxing Liu

List of Contributors
Stevan Harrell is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington and Acting Curator of Asian Ethnology at the Burke Museum. He is author of the forthcoming Ways of Being Ethnic in Southwest China (2000), Human Families (1997) and Ploughshare Village: Culture and Context in Taiwan (1982). He is also co-editor of Mountain Patterns: The Survival of Nuosu Culture in China (2000), with Bamo Qubumo and Ma Erzi. His edited volumes include Chinese Historical Microdemography (California, 1995) and Chinese Families in the Post-Mao Era (California, 1993, coedited with Deborah Davis).

Join UC Press

Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more