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Except on tourist brochures, the indigenous peoples of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and southern China (Yunnan) are the least visible, and most excluded, of citizens. All these countries have used similar strategies to classify, include, or exclude minority peoples from the project of nationalism. At the same time, as vividly demonstrated here, the minority peoples (many spread over more than one country), have adapted and accommodated to, or actively resisted, majority culture and state policy alike. There continues to be undeniable impoverishment, cultural loss, and "social suffering" in some communities, particularly amongst ex-swidden based upland ones in Vietnam and Laos; the rearranging or reconstituting of trading and social networks; the over-commodification of aspects of culture, often for domestic tourism; and struggles to maintain language, rituals, and belief systems. Understanding the cultural and economic trajectories of key minorities such as the Dai, Hmong, Lahu, Akha, and Karen is critical to understanding the construction, workings, and future of each of these nation-states, indeed of the Mekong region as a whole. The studies here bring alive these communities in transformation, pointing out those near dissolution, as well as those hopefully reclaiming and expanding their cultural space.

Challenging the Limits: Indigenous Peoples of the Mekong Region

SKU: 043565
  • ISBN

  • Authors

    Leepreecha, Prasit; Don Mccaskill (eds.)
  • Extent

  • Format

  • Year

  • Publisher

    Mekong Press

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