By Stevan Harrell
Approximately seven million Yi humans dwell in Southwest China, yet so much proficient humans open air China have by no means heard of them. This booklet, the 1st scholarly examine in a Western language at the Yi in 4 a long time, brings this little-known a part of the area to existence. views at the Yi of Southwest China is a extraordinary selection of paintings by way of either Yi and overseas students describing their heritage, conventional society, and up to date social adjustments. as well as being priceless as an ethnographic research, this ebook is additionally an test in conversation between 3 discourses: the cosmopolitan disciplines of background and the social sciences, the chinese language discourse of ethnology and ethnohistory, and the Yi folks discourse of family tree and formality. This ebook makes use of the case of the Yi to behavior a world dialog throughout previously remoted disciplines.
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Extra info for Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China (Studies on China)
Many paintings using pigments of iron or animal blood have been found in many places in steep mountains and deep valleys where the ancient Aimao used to live. ” In 1984, researchers found at Xunjiansi in Mile County a Y i language couplet painted with the same pigments on two ends of a cliff. By the Nanzhao period, this kind of cliff document had developed into large-scale stone carving, such as the cliff sculptures at Shibao Shan in Jianquan and at Posiwahe in Zhaojue. Such cliff documents have long been treasures for research into early human civilization.
The need to “divine the day and ﬁx the time for cultivation” is universal among rice-growing and other agricultural cultures all over the world, and the Y i are no exception. For this reason, astronomical texts and the calendar are important Y i historical documents, but because of differences in latitude and elevation encountered in the course of migrations, many different versions of these documents have been developed to suit particular circumstances. The Scripture for Exorcising Spirits and Expelling Ghosts, as well as the Almanacs for Divining the Auspicious and Inauspicious, which guide those who seek divine assistance in countering the inevitable natural disasters and human depredations, testify to the continued relevance of inherited astronomical and calendrical knowledge.
The recitation of Scriptures for Showing the Way during sacriﬁces to the ancestors leads members of the group to know the routes taken by previous generations during their migrations. Like the archival materials and historical records mentioned above, most RECONSTRUCT ING Y I HISTORY 33 other documents that are related through a common cultural origin demonstrate —as a result of their divergent origin from a common source — a set of common cultural characteristics with regional cultural variations: 1.
Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China (Studies on China) by Stevan Harrell