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Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China$
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Stevan Harrell

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520219885

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520219885.001.0001

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The Yi Health Care System in Liangshan and Chuxiong

The Yi Health Care System in Liangshan and Chuxiong

(p.267) Chapter 16 The Yi Health Care System in Liangshan and Chuxiong
Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China

Liu Xiaoxing

University of California Press

This chapter treats the changes in the health care system, and more significantly the lack of change in and the persistence of traditional healers, as another instance of the contradiction between ethnic autonomy and a centralized, state project of modernization. As with modern schooling, the discussion finds that both Nuosu in Liangshan and Lipo in Chuxiong freely resort to cosmopolitan medicine when they see it as efficacious. But officials cannot understand why the Yi, when faced with what the officials see as the overwhelming superiority of scientific medicine, do not just reject their traditional healers and remedies outright and modernize their lives. They perceive both kinds of therapies to be efficacious in different ways and choose one or both according to their particular circumstances.

Keywords:   health care system, traditional healers, ethnic autonomy, modernization, cosmopolitan medicine, Nuosu, Liangshan, scientific medicine

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