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Title: "Dealing and dwelling with demons, spirits and other beings on the marketplace" : purity, ritual and authorship among Nuosu-Yi scriptural ritualists in contemporary Liangshan
Authors: Karlach, Jan
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2020
Abstract: This dissertation presents an ethnographic account of Nuosu-Yi bimox ritualists practice on the Shimazi Marketplace in Xichang (Latbbu Oprro), a prefecture-level city in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture (Nipmu), Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China. Almost exclusively concentrating on the text of the bimox scriptures, with the help of various interpretations of Marxist-Leninist theories, the overwhelming majority of previous studies fed into narratives used for top-down state-building purposes related to the solidification of the Yi nationality identity and locating it in the large multi-ethnic body of the PRC. Focusing on speech instead of text, my thesis brings a bottom-up, polyphonic account of how the bimox negotiate their identity in front of various audiences - foreign anthropologists, among themselves, face-to-face with their clients, Chinese (predominantly Nuosu-Yi) academics, and their ancestors and successors - and how they open possibilities for sets of fresh perspectives on their prestigious vocation. By intertwining theories of Butler's performativity, Aristotle's rhetorics understood as persuasion, Bakhtin's dialogism, Deleuze and Guattari's pragmatics, and Hobart's conceptualization of ethnography and practice, the goal of this text is to explore the ritualists' speech tactics of fitting their personalized lineages of thought into a complex environment of increasingly globalized, contemporary Liangshan. The findings show that most of these tactics revolve around Nuosu-Yi conceptualizations of purity, ritual and authorship deployed through persuasion. Furthermore, instead of a unified system, the cytvi clan-oriented bimox inhabit a polyvalent canon consisting of permutations of their positioned and situated systems of knowledge.
Subjects: Yi (Chinese people) -- Social life and customs
China, Southwest -- Civilization
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: [12], 279 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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