China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Mountain Cult and Temple Festivals: Dynamic Multi-Religious Practices in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland of Northwest Sichuan

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Magnolia, Lower Ground Floor

This paper explores the dynamic multi-religious practices of Yanwo people living in the Sino-Tibetan borderland in northwest Sichuan in China. They call themselves Xxmi and are identified as Qiangzu by the Chinese state. The borderland is a buffer zone of the Chinese and Tibetan civilization, which also incorporates partial Indian civilization. Yet many minorities living in the borderlands have never been completely assimilated by the Han or Tibetans. They retain their local identity which is intertwined with their cosmology, local ecology, and religious practices while incorporating religious and cultural elements from both civilizations. Instead of privileging the center, this paper grants centrality to the borderland society where people and political space are fluid and dynamic, and different people and religions meet, interact, exchange, compete, and coexist. Therefore, the national category of political space and minority identity is not enough to interpret who they are. The interaction between the micro-local culture and the macro-regional multi-ethnic culture will be highlighted when analyzing the local mountain cult ritual and temple festivals.

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2 - Mountain Cult and Temple Festivals: Dynamic Multi-Religious Practices in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland of Northwest Sichuan



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Send Email for Mountain Cult and Temple Festivals: Dynamic Multi-Religious Practices in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland of Northwest Sichuan