In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 121 NOTE S 1. Glen Dudbridge, Religious Experience andLaySociety in Tang China: A ReadingofTai Fu's "Kuang-i chi" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Robert Ford Campany, Strange Writing: AnomalyAccounts in Early Medieval China (Albany: State University ofNew York Press, 1996). 2. Thomas E. Smith, "Ritual and the Shaping ofNarrative: The Legend ofthe Han Emperor Wu." m David Faure and Helen F. Siu, editors. Down to Earth: The Territorial Bond in South China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995. xii, 286 pp. Hardcover $45.00, isbn 0-8047-2434-2. Paperback $16.95, isbn 0-80472435 -0. This book is a collection ofnine essays focusing on the Pearl River Delta region of South China. Seven of the essays are case studies in the ethnography and history ofvillages and towns in the Delta, which include Shawan (Liu Zhiwei, Helen Siu), Lubao (Luo Yixing), Cheung Chau (James Hayes, Choi Chi-Cheung), Sha Tau Kok (Patrick Hase), Tangang (David Faure), and Tianma and Xiaolan (Helen Siu). Ofthe study sites, two (Cheung Chau and Sha Tau Kok) are located in the New Territories ofthe British colony of Hong Kong. Two other essays address some cultural traits oftwo ethnic groups: the Hakka (Chan Wing-Hoi) and the Dan boat people (Ye Xian'en). The editors provide an Introduction and a Conclusion at the beginning and end of the book. The contributors to this volume are scholars and administrators, from China, the United States, and the United Kingdom , who have firsthand experience working in this region. In the excellent Introduction, the editors explain the theoretical framework within which these different essays are tied together. The main inspiration was G. William Skinner's idea that Chinese history has been a pattern of unique structural transformations ofregional systems. The editors have tried to expand this idea to view the Pearl River Delta region as a conscious historical construct characterized by the cultural expressions ofthose involved in creating it (p. 1). Another influence is Maurice Freedman's work on lineage organization. The book documents the involvement ofthe lineage in landholding and territorial bondingĀ© 1997 by University m me Deita) ^ me intertwining ofkinship and territory atparticular historical r at ? essmoments in state making. This volume also examines ethnicitywith particular reference to the Dan and Hakka. Lineage and etiinicity provide keys to the identity ofthe region. 122 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 As is usual in a volume ofthis nature, the quality of the contributions varies. These essays are highly detailed and descriptive in nature; as a result, they tend to be rather boring reading at times. The first essay, "Lineage on the Sands: The Case ofShawan," by Liu Zhiwei, an English translation from the Chinese and strictly a description ofthe wealthy He lineage in the village ofShawan, illustrates the many meanings oflineage (as a means to organize local development, a cultural strategy to obtain political recognition and authority by the government, and a means to stabilize the land-tenure system). The second, "Territorial Community at the Town ofLubao, Sansui County, from the Ming Dynasty," by Luo Yixing, another translation into English, describes the rise ofLubao and the changes in the fortunes of Lubao from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing. "Ordination Names in Hakka Genealogies: A Religious Practice and Its Decline," by Chan Wing-Hoi, suggests that Hakka religious practices were closely related to those of the Yao and She natives of the region, and that the decline ofordination names in favor of names more common in the literati style in Hakka genealogies indicates an acknowledgment of the supremacy ofa new tradition. "Notes on the Territorial Connections ofthe Dan," by Ye Xian'en, sheds useful light on the Dan boat people, and suggests that they were closely connected to territorial administration from at least the Ming dynasty. "Notes and Impressions ofthe Cheung Chau Community," by James Hayes, a district officer who had administrative power over Cheung Chau in the New Territories of Hong Kong, gives an insider account ofhow Cheung Chau was run. It points out the sharp division between the residents ofthe land and the boat people. The essay by Choi Chi-Cheung, "Reinforcing Ethnicity: The Jiao Festival in Cheung Chau," is...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 121-124
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.