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Reconstruction of Ethnicity and Production of Pu’er Tea in Post-Mao China: a Case Study of Bulang Ethnic Group in Mangjing Village, Yunnan Province

Reconstruction of Ethnicity and Production of Pu’er Tea in Post-Mao China: a Case Study of Bulang... In post-Mao China, the Bulang ethnic group in Yunnan province use Pu’er tea cultivation as a primary way of reconstructing their ethnic identities and cultural traditions. In this paper, I argue that in the process of ethnicization, material culture is a critical factor in addition to myth, history, religions, and cultures, rooted in a historical process of forming ethnic identities, based on a six-month participant observation in Mangjing Village with local tea farmers. I further argue that the Bulang people’s reconstruction of ethnicity can be seen as an incorporation between the majority (state power) and the minority (ethnic people in frontiers) and is constituted by both external and internal factors. I also highlight that Pu’er tea functions as a particularly meaningful material agency when looking at how the Bulang people in Mangjing proactively respond to state power manipulation, mobilize social relations, and engage with a larger commercial market in the modern world. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Ethnicity Taylor & Francis

Reconstruction of Ethnicity and Production of Pu’er Tea in Post-Mao China: a Case Study of Bulang Ethnic Group in Mangjing Village, Yunnan Province

Asian Ethnicity , Volume 24 (3): 25 – Jul 3, 2023
25 pages

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References (47)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1469-2953
eISSN
1463-1369
DOI
10.1080/14631369.2022.2159324
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In post-Mao China, the Bulang ethnic group in Yunnan province use Pu’er tea cultivation as a primary way of reconstructing their ethnic identities and cultural traditions. In this paper, I argue that in the process of ethnicization, material culture is a critical factor in addition to myth, history, religions, and cultures, rooted in a historical process of forming ethnic identities, based on a six-month participant observation in Mangjing Village with local tea farmers. I further argue that the Bulang people’s reconstruction of ethnicity can be seen as an incorporation between the majority (state power) and the minority (ethnic people in frontiers) and is constituted by both external and internal factors. I also highlight that Pu’er tea functions as a particularly meaningful material agency when looking at how the Bulang people in Mangjing proactively respond to state power manipulation, mobilize social relations, and engage with a larger commercial market in the modern world.

Journal

Asian EthnicityTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 3, 2023

Keywords: Bulang ethnic identity; Mangjing; pu’er tea; tea father ceremony; material culture; sacred mountain; Theravada buddhism; global tea market

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