Feminization, Recognition, and the Cosmological in Xishuangbanna

  • Anouska Komlosy


This chapter explores the feminization of Xishuangbanna (Sipsongpanna) and Dai (Tai) peoples in Yunnan province within the wider Chinese polity from the perspective of Dai cosmological understandings (see map 7.1 and map 7.2). Dai peoples in China are heavily promoted through the prism of feminization and often exploitation. This chapter looks at this process from the point of view of Dai peoples. It goes some way toward understanding how they read the abounding images of Dai women that pervade in Xishuangbanna (Banna) and constitute much non-Dai experience of them as a Chinese “minority nationality.” In order to comprehend these issues from the Dai perspective, cosmological understandings of femininity, especially youthful femininity, must be taken into account. By focusing on these understandings we can better account for Dai pragmatic participation in some of these ongoing feminizing projects. Dai participation is not simply passive submission to Han fantasy but is rather part of the ongoing process of negotiation and accommodation that has a long and complex history in this border region.


Yunnan Province Border Region Menstrual Blood Moral Understanding Economic Migrant 
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© Siu-Keung Cheung, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, and Lida V. Nedilsky 2009

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  • Anouska Komlosy

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