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Book The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand

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The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jess G. Pourret(Author)

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The Yao, a non Chinese minority moved most likely from the Yang Tse Basin many centuries ago to the Southern Chinese provinces of Hunan, Guizhou, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan. Possibly around the 13th century they pushed onwards to northern Vietnam then Laos and finally Thailand. Perhaps nine or ten centuries ago they became Taoists and adherence to this religion has helped them survive as a small but sophisticated society based on 12 original clans, with very strong traditions, customs and culture but no country of their own.

This book covers all aspects of the Yao agricultural society, including their numerous migrations, work, dwellings, magnificent religious paintings, manuscripts, elaborate costumes and silver jewellery. It is based on fifteen years of fieldwork and research in China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. The research covers the two main branches of the Yao; the Mien and the Mun, together with their sub-branches, groups and sub-groups including some little researched Vietnamese groups. It is an invaluable record of a people who have maintained their identity and culture in the face of their world which was always changing for the last thousand years and even more so today.

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Book details

  • PDF | 277 pages
  • Jess G. Pourret(Author)
  • Art Media Resources Ltd; First Edition edition (January 1, 2002)
  • English
  • 2
  • History

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Review Text

  • By S. Shueh on January 11, 2004

    This is a remarkable book on the subject of the Yao ethnic tribe. Rather than making it a purely scholarly research article the author traced and studied the heritage of different Yao tribes.Jess Pourrett went inside remote China, Vietnam, and Laos and found the links with the Chinese. It contains much samples of Yao's customs, ethnology with very convincing evidence about a mountain dwelling group left China sometime ago.Perhaps, the book can be added with linguistics. For example, a chart comparison of different tribal dialects on common objects, number systems will really make this book a more distinguished and more convincing they are separate from the the Han people. Samples of burial tomb stones,excerts of love songs etc are also highly treasured topics.The book in by no means comprehensive. There is more to be studied and researched. If there is more citations from authorative sources like China research sources, the origin of the Yao people from Yangtze Valley will be better understood. I am under the impression that Yao people might have been forced to leave. Also the links with Hmong or Miao are suggested but not substantiated.This is an excellent and well illustrated book on embroidery, jewellery. A colorful well illustrated reference book or just for reading enjoyment. Good job.

  • By Dr. Mark Rapoport on January 29, 2006

    This book is impressive both as an in-depth look at a fascinating group and as a work of love. The author has lived in southeast Asia for 30 years, and he "lives" the material. The text demonstrates a keen understanding of values, flavors, and exigencies of Yao life. However, the life of this book is in the 600+ photographs, which capture every part of Yao culture. They are split among 3 categories: modern photographs of Yao life, vintage photographs of similar scenes, and photographs of every piece of material culture a Yao person would need in life. The captions put the photographs in context, so that the book can be used for quick reference as well as for sequential reading. The straight-forward system of organization (for example, by the various components of the female costume) gives it added value as an "identifier" of a given textile or other object in hand. This markedly increases its value to a collector. For readers unfamiliar with the group or those observing them solely from a distance, this book is likely to engender an urge to get on a plane and journey to see Yao society up close. This is very possible, especially in northern Viet Nam, and the reader would be well advised to finish the book, pack it in the suitcase, and get on the plane.


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