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Nature De‐naturalised: Modes of Relation with the Environment among the Drung of Northwest Yunnan (China)

Abstract : This article is about the ways the Drung (Dulong), a minority inhabiting a remote mountainous valley of Northwest Yunnan province (China), view the ‘natural world’ as part of a cosmological order in which human society is integrated. The article explores the principles of differentiation that preside over the modes of relation between the diverse components of this world, by paying close attention to subsistence activities. Until recently, the Drung people practised swidden agriculture, and hunting and collecting remained important secondary sources of food. These activities imply specific relationships with natural forces, deities and spirits, which constitute a socio‐cultural means of accessing natural resources and obtaining prosperity, or ‘good fortune’. Four mutually non‐exclusive modalities of transaction with these entities are identified, which capture the variability of peoples’ attitudes toward natural resources and ideas of social reproduction. Recent socio‐economic reforms that have brought traditional cultivation to an end, threatening Drung people’s livelihood and culture, seem to influence the dominance of a certain modality of economic transaction.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01673745
Contributor : Hal - Ceh <>
Submitted on : Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 7:58:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 4:40:06 PM

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Stéphane Gros. Nature De‐naturalised: Modes of Relation with the Environment among the Drung of Northwest Yunnan (China). Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2017, 27 (4), pp.321-339. ⟨10.1080/00664677.2017.1297221⟩. ⟨halshs-01673745⟩

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