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Fieldwork Connections

The Fabric of Ethnographic Collaboration in China and America

By Bamo Ayi, Stevan Harrell, and Ma Lunzy

Publication Year: 2007

Published by: University of Washington Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vi-viii

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Preface to the English Edition

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pp. ix-xii

Ethnography is an odd science. Fieldworkers spend relatively short amounts of time in familiar or alien communities, and attempt to write about their experiences for an audience much less familiar with the communities than the authors are. In the process of data collection and writing...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

All of us wish to thank the many people, too numerous to mention, who helped and encouraged us in our research and writing. In addition, each of us has the following special thanks: I am extremely grateful to Amber....

Part I: Origins

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1. Growing Up Half Yi

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pp. 5-12

“Anthropological field research” usually refers to participant observation in a culture diªerent from one’s own. But in my mind, Yi culture is not some kind of “other” culture. In terms of identity, I have a lifelong natural...

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2. In the Shadow of the Han

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pp. 13-22

My Nuosu name is Mgebbu Vurryr Lunzy, and I was born in 1957. Nuosu people ordinarily don’t celebrate birthdays, and often ignore what month and day they were born. My month and day of birth were similarly ignored, but Father and Mother both said that it was the third day...

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3. A White Guy Discovers Anthropology

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pp. 23-28

To beginwith, I knewlittle about the subject of ethnic identity, and never intended to do research onit. Ihad grownup very, verywhite, in the segregated San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles. We had African American servants when I was little, and when I was in high school, our church was heavily...

Part II: China

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4. Yinchang: My First Fieldwork, 1987–88

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pp. 31-52

When I was a graduate student, I traveled many times to Yi areas in the outskirts of Kunming, in Wuding, and in my own homeland of Liangshan to conduct field research.Of these trips, the longest was from September...

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5. Getting Started in Southwest China, 1987–88

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pp. 53-71

My idea that fieldwork in China was a distant dream changed dramatically when my graduate student Dru C. Gladney would not take “no” for an answer. In summer 1982, at the height of the chill induced by the Mosher...

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6. Chasing After Bimo, 1992–93

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pp. 72-88

At the end of 1991, at Father’s urging, we three sisters formed the “Bamo Sisters’ Yi Studies Research Group.” In October 1992, I arranged to return to Liangshan from Beijing to do fieldwork with my sister, Bamo Qubumo, who was...

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7. Getting Started Again, 1991

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pp. 89-97

In the Sichuan Ribao in February 1992, there appeared the following piece by one Zhou Jifen, a single mother, former ballerina, and feminist fiction writer: Hello, Harrell! By Zhou Jifen... The rugged Southern

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8. First Contact, 1991

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pp. 98-102

From the time the Liangshan Nationalities Research Institute was established at the end of 1990, several leaders responsible for its establishment had repeatedly asked me to come “promote the usefulness” of their research. Not...

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9. Almost Real Fieldwork, 1993

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pp. 103-116

In January 1993 I flew from Hong Kong to Chengdu once again, and was met by Director Zhou. From my past two experiences, I had expected to spend at least a week or two in the dismal provincial capital, getting permissions and seeing the people I had to see, so I was delighted when Zhou told...

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10. In the Month of the Snake, 1993

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pp. 117-134

Ihad just about forgotten the trip to Baiwu with Stevan Harrell, when Director Qubi summoned Gaga Erri and me to his o‹ce on January 5, 1993, and, just as in 1991, explained the purpose and importance of receiving Harrell again. He told us to arrange things well at home, because we wouldn’t...

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11. Fieldwork with Muga, 1994

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pp. 135-161

The time had come to say good-bye. The next day, Harrell and I would each go our separate ways, he to Yanyuan and I to Meigu, to carry out our own fieldwork. For twenty days, I had accompanied him to Manshuiwan and Mishi, going into villages and hamlets, climbing mountains...

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12. Getting Further Implicated, 1994 -

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pp. 162-177

My next field season did not begin in January 1994, as I had hoped. The Sichuan Nationalities Research Institute was refusing to sponsor my application for a visa, since they felt I had so far not held up my end of the bargain—there was no largescale grant, and...

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13. The Last Time I Led the Horse, 1994

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pp. 178-197

In October of 1994, Harrell came to Xichang again, and we all went to the station to meet him. The two of us were delighted to see each other, and shook both hands tightly. I took him to a hotel to get settled, and told him about the arrangements. Because I had work responsibilities—one of them editing Liangshan Minzu Yanjiu (Liangshan Ethnic Studies) and...

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14. The Bimo in the Modern World, 1994–95

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pp. 198-205

In October of 1994, Harrell came to Xichang again, and we all went to the station to meet him. The two of us were delighted to see each other, and shook both hands tightly. I took him to a hotel to get settled, and told him about the arrangements. Because I had work responsibilities—one of them editing Liangshan Minzu Yanjiu (Liangshan Ethnic Studies) and...

Part III: America

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15. The First International Yi Conference, 1995

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pp. 209-224

At the beginning of 1995, I received Stevan Harrell’s invitation to attend the International Yi Studies Conference being held at the University of Washington in March, and I was extremely happy about it. Even though I had never asked Muga to his face if I could attend the conference—to the point that...

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16. Seattle First Free Methodist Church, 1996–97

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pp. 225-247

“Now we’re going to Queen Anne, to see a landlady called Amber. Amber is a single woman, a member of a Protestant church.” It was the third day after my arrival in Seattle. Professor Harrell was explaining things to me...

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17. Collecting Mountain Patterns, 1999

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pp. 248-256

The exhibit wasn’t conceived overnight. The subject came up in casual conversations on country paths or over meals or tea, after we had spent a long time with Stevan Harrell conducting fieldwork in Nuosu areas in Liangshan, after we had spent a long time creating friendship in the...

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18. Conceptualizing Mountain Patterns, 2000

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pp. 257-274

When he saw me carry our exhibit “baby,” the yak head, though the final customs line at Seattle, “American Muga” gave me a thumbs-up through the glass. I had not only brought that thing, with its long, sharp horns, all the way from the mountains of Liangshan to the city on...

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19. Celebrating Mountain Patterns

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pp. 275-286

Opening night was glittering. The gallery reflected and rereflected light from the overhead tracks to the bued-shiny wood floors, and in between, in the polished glass cases, the silver jewelry scintillated, the variegated needlework sparkled, the glossy lacquerware shone. We three...

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Epilogue: Fieldwork Connections and the Process of Ethnography

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pp. 287-300

The process of anthropological research has undergone an enormous amount of self-examination since the 1970s. At first glance, it is di‹cult to see the reason for this. If we look at accounts from former times, beginning....

Cast of Characters

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pp. 301-306

Chinese and Nuosu Glossary

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pp. 307-310

Bibliography

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pp. 311-314


E-ISBN-13: 9780295804064
E-ISBN-10: 0295804068
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295986685
Print-ISBN-10: 0295986689

Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Ethnology -- China -- Sichuan Sheng -- Fieldwork.
  • Ethnology -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Fieldwork.
  • Ethnologists -- China -- Sichuan Sheng -- Biography.
  • Ethnologists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Biography.
  • Bamo, Ayi.
  • Ma, Lunzy.
  • Harrell, Stevan.
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