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Editorial Introduction

Editorial Introduction Although Inner Asia has emerged as an entity with a distinct identity in areas bordering sedentary farming populations and their cultures, it is more complex than we might have expected. For one thing, its populations are not only distributed into various mutually exclusive countries and regions, they are also linguistically divided into at least three large branches, Mongolic, Tungusic and Turkic, which further splinter into numerous national and sub-national or ethnic languages and dialects. For millennia, ambitious native leaders always mobilised some source of commonality (e.g. felt-dwelling, hunting and pastoralism) for state-making purposes or for military campaigns against sedentary neighbours, but such commonality is no longer easy to come by. Today, diversity has become a valued means to come to terms with reality. Identity and its management thus become or remain an exciting if not always a happy subject for musing in the region, as the five main articles in this issue have demonstrated.I have personally long been intrigued by the anxiety on the part of many Inner Asian groups, including those of independent Mongolia, over imminent dilution of ethnic or national identities. Identity, in this angst, is one of pure origin, so it is imagined to be prone http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Editorial Introduction

Inner Asia , Volume 19 (2): 3 – Oct 18, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/22105018-12340088
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although Inner Asia has emerged as an entity with a distinct identity in areas bordering sedentary farming populations and their cultures, it is more complex than we might have expected. For one thing, its populations are not only distributed into various mutually exclusive countries and regions, they are also linguistically divided into at least three large branches, Mongolic, Tungusic and Turkic, which further splinter into numerous national and sub-national or ethnic languages and dialects. For millennia, ambitious native leaders always mobilised some source of commonality (e.g. felt-dwelling, hunting and pastoralism) for state-making purposes or for military campaigns against sedentary neighbours, but such commonality is no longer easy to come by. Today, diversity has become a valued means to come to terms with reality. Identity and its management thus become or remain an exciting if not always a happy subject for musing in the region, as the five main articles in this issue have demonstrated.I have personally long been intrigued by the anxiety on the part of many Inner Asian groups, including those of independent Mongolia, over imminent dilution of ethnic or national identities. Identity, in this angst, is one of pure origin, so it is imagined to be prone

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Oct 18, 2017

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