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The Shuhi house between reformist China and revivalist Tibet


Huber, Franz K; Weckerle, Caroline S; Hsu, Elisabeth (2017). The Shuhi house between reformist China and revivalist Tibet. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 71(1):353-374.

Abstract

The Shuhi of Muli County, Sichuan province, inhabit the Tibetan-Chinese borderlands. In this paper, we focus on Shuhi kinship practices that accord the house the importance it appears to have for the Shuhi themselves. We demonstrate that the Shuhi engage in kinship practices that are ‘hearth-oriented’ (Hsu 1998b: 67–99) in a dynamic process affected by the current political economic changes in reformist China and religious revivalism in Tibet. The ‘hearth-oriented’ kinship practices we discuss include issues of who among the offspring continues to live in the house of their parents, how places of worship in a house are oriented in relation to the physical environment and the divine landscape, and how practices regarding the naming of houses are changing from deictics of place to lineage and family names. Based on empirical data, gathered between 1996–2011, we show that there are significant differences in all practices, which reflect a Tibetan-Chinese gradient along the north-south axis of Shuhi settlements. But there are also striking continuities.

Abstract

The Shuhi of Muli County, Sichuan province, inhabit the Tibetan-Chinese borderlands. In this paper, we focus on Shuhi kinship practices that accord the house the importance it appears to have for the Shuhi themselves. We demonstrate that the Shuhi engage in kinship practices that are ‘hearth-oriented’ (Hsu 1998b: 67–99) in a dynamic process affected by the current political economic changes in reformist China and religious revivalism in Tibet. The ‘hearth-oriented’ kinship practices we discuss include issues of who among the offspring continues to live in the house of their parents, how places of worship in a house are oriented in relation to the physical environment and the divine landscape, and how practices regarding the naming of houses are changing from deictics of place to lineage and family names. Based on empirical data, gathered between 1996–2011, we show that there are significant differences in all practices, which reflect a Tibetan-Chinese gradient along the north-south axis of Shuhi settlements. But there are also striking continuities.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 71 (2017) > 1
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
580 Plants (Botany)
Uncontrolled Keywords:house; kinship; cognatic; hearth-oriented; house architecture; house names; Southwest China
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:24 Mar 2017 10:46
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 07:47
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0004-4717
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2016-0028

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