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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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On the Nature and Transmission of Bimo Knowledge in Liangshan

On the Nature and Transmission of Bimo Knowledge in Liangshan

(p.118) Chapter 8 On the Nature and Transmission of Bimo Knowledge in Liangshan
Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China

Bamo Ayi

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the education of the bimo, the importance of patrilineal transmission of knowledge, and the ideas of education embodied in the long training and apprenticeship before a bimo can perform rituals on his own. For the national Chinese discourse, and to some extent for the local discourse of Yi identity, Nuosu society in Liangshan represents a kind of paradigm for the Yi in general—a society where outside influences were minimal and where one could see in the present what other Yi must have been like in the past, before their cultures were heavily intermixed with acculturative elements from the Han. The cosmopolitan discourse, in recent decades at least, has rejected such rigidly typological and general evolutionary schemes, and tends to view Nuosu society as something sui historically related to the other Yi.

Keywords:   Yi identity, national Chinese discourses, Liangshan, cosmopolitan discourse, patrilineal transmission, bimo

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