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Threads unwoven : politics, indigenous knowledge, ethnic identity, and community based cultural-ecological conservation in ethnic rural regions, southwest China--a case study of Tujia brocade

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Item Summary

Title: Threads unwoven : politics, indigenous knowledge, ethnic identity, and community based cultural-ecological conservation in ethnic rural regions, southwest China--a case study of Tujia brocade
Authors: Zhang, Yong
Keywords: indigenous cloth
indigenous knowledge
national political-economic impact
Issue Date: May 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract: By using Tujia brocade, a piece of indigenous cloth woven by ethnic Tujia girls in southwestern China, as a metaphor, this dissertation examines the correlation between Tujia indigenous knowledge and national political-economic impact. It accentuates the significance of community-based indigenous knowledge preservation with support of new-born indigenous farmer cooperatives as it relates to livelihood improvement in ethnic minority communities. I put forward the proposition that it is necessary to rethink the controversial development model in ethnic minority regions within the context of a national political-economic misappropriation. Modernized economic integration, specifically GDP-driven industrialization and rural urbanization, has caused changes in community structure, social-cultural life, and the ethnic identities of Tujia and many other ethnic groups in southwestern China. This ultimately undermines natural resources, customary materials and tribal beliefs in ethnic rural regions. The changing situation of this Tujia brocade, from a life-time practice into being forsaken, reveals an underprivileged present as well as an unclear future for these ethnic peoples and their cultures. While examining the Tujia brocade and Tujia society from a cultural, anthropological and political perspective, the proposition of this thesis may be quite divergent from many contemporary attitudes focusing on modernization. In contrast, with a concern for indigenous knowledge, especially its survival, continuation and sustainability, the purpose of this project was an attempt to view approaches to ethnic rural livelihood improvement from the standpoint of community based, native, social-cultural preservation.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/100553
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Political Science



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