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Skidmore College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities


This paper is an analysis of the current state of Nakhi minority culture as practiced by Nakhi women living in the city of Lijiang and its surrounding areas. This analysis presents a historical assessment of the cultural, economic, historical, and political factors that have lead to the creation of the Lijiang Old Town that we see today and the current state of Nakhi culture surrounding that development. As well, this paper presents a field assessment of the current state of Nakhi cultural practice in light of the internalized discourses of the Chinese state and the indigenous discourses of the Nakhi people, especially those related to the gendering and spatializtaion of Nakhi authenticity. This study was conducted using a qualitative interview methodology that entailed interviews of Nakhi women, the representatives of Nakhi culture in China and abroad, across generations and across Nakhi space to better understand Nakhi conceptualizations of Nakhi identity.


Community-Based Learning | Family, Life Course, and Society | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Regional Sociology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture


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