Some books about the Yao Nationality

Some books about the Yao Nationality

Tokyo 1968.

Eli Alberts.- A History of Daoism and the Yao People of South China. Cambria Press, 2007

The term Yao refers to a non-sinitic speaking, southern «Chinese» people who originated in central China, south of the Yangzi River. Despite categorization by Chinese and Western scholars of Yao as an ethnic minority with a primitive culture, it is now recognized that not only are certain strains of religious Daoism prominent in Yao ritual traditions, but the Yao culture also shares many elements with pre-modern official and mainstream Chinese culture. This book is the first to furnish a history-part cultural, part political, and part religious-of contacts between the Chinese state and autochthonous peoples (identified since the 11th century as Yao people) in what is now South China. It vividly details the influence of Daoism on the rich history and culture of the Yao people. The book also includes an examination of the specific terminology, narratives, and symbols (Daoist/ imperial) that represent and mediate these contacts.

«This is an important piece of work on a little studied, but very interesting subject, namely, Taoism among the non-Sinitic peoples of South China and adjoining areas.» – Professor Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania

Free reading of the Foreword of this book

R.F. Fortune,. Yao Society – A Study of a Group of Primitives in China. Lingnan Science Journal, Vol. 18 – 19. Canton, 1939 – 1940.

KACHA-ANANDA, Chob.- Thailand Yao, past present and future. Tokyo, Institute for the study of languages and cultures of Asia and Africa, 1997, 333p,

Jacques Lemoine, assisted by Donald Gibson.- Yao Ceremonial Paintings. White Lotus Co Ltd. Bangkok. 1982.

Review by Anthony R. Walker

The collaboration between Lemoine and Gibson has resulted in a well-written
work which is of great importance to art-collectors, anthropologists, sinologists and all who are interested in the Yao people

Ralph A. Litzinger.- Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging. Duke University Press, 2000.

In the present historical moment, there are five different autochthonous names in use for the people who identify themselves as Yao. In «Other Chinas» Ralph A. Litzinger investigates the politics of ethnic identity in postsocialist China. By combining innovative research with extensive fieldwork conducted during the late 1980s and early 1990s in south-central and southwestern China, Litzinger provides a detailed ethnography of the region’s Yao population in order to question how minority groups are represented in China. In particular, he focuses on how elite members of this minority population have represented their own culture, history, and identity to a range of Chinese and Western observers. Litzinger begins by describing how during the Republican period the Yao were considered a dangerous people who preferred to consort with beasts and goblins rather than join in the making of a modern nation. He then compares this to the communist revolutionaries’ view of the Yao as impressive rebels and positive examples of subaltern agency. Litzinger shows how scholars, government workers, communist party officials, and Taoist ritual specialists have influenced the varied depictions of the Yao and, in doing so, he advances a new understanding of both the Yao and the effects of official discourse, written histories, state policy, and practices of minority empowerment. In addition to analyzing issues of ritual practice, social order, morality, and the governance of ethnic populations, Litzinger considers the Yao’s role in the cultural reforms of the 1980s. By distancing his study from romanticized depictions of minorities Litzinger is able to focus on how minority representation, struggle, and agency have influenced the history of the People’s Republic, cultural debates within contemporary Chinese society, and China’s rapidly changing role in the global order. This book will be of interest to Asianists in both anthropology and cultural studies and should appeal more generally to scholars invested in issues of ethnic identity, minority politics, and transnationalism.

Sylvia J Lombard .- Yao English Dictionary . CORNELL UNIV SE ASIA PROGRAM. 1968

Jeffe MacDonald.- Transnational Aspects of Iu-Mien Refugee Identity. Routledge, 1997. 336 pages

This study examines how the Iu-Mien, a highland Laotian refugee group, have used transnational forces to construct a global ethnic identity in less than 20 years. Utilizing rich ethnographic data on the Iu-Mien, who are the least known American refugee group in the literature, the study considers the transnational aspects of Iu-Mien traditional identity and social space in Asia; how the transnational forces they have encountered as refugees have resulted in numerous cultural changes; and how their responses to these changes have led to the construction of a transnational identity and social space within the world political system.
The book presents the Iu-Mien as active agents in the shaping of their own identities and communities, and views the Iu-Mien within a global social space no longer discretely delimited within one country or culture area. By emphasizing the innovative strategies used by the Iu-Mien to utilize the transnational forces of Christian conversion, literacy development, and cultural exchange with their ancestral groups in China to create their new global identity, the study provides insights into the dynamics of other groups with transnational connections and identities and helps to identify the political and economic processes that have led to the development of nationalism.

Mai Phuong. et al..-OUR CRAFT TRADITIONS: A YAO COMMUNITY IN SAPA, VIETNAM. Hanoi 2001, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. 66p., color map, 107 color, 20 b.w.figures, English text, with co-author Claire Burkert.

This is an excellent monograph, current and well organized. It covers the Zao [Yao] ethnological group found in North Vietnam and Southern Yunnan province of China, a culture that continues over the border area. Contains: Introduction to the Yao of Ta Phin, sapa; Traditional dress and ethnic identity; Preparing materials to make clothing; Embroidery and sewing; symbolism in embroidery; Traditional dress in Ta Phin; Yao women in the marketplace; Cloth and clothing Yao rituals and customs,

Osgood, Cornelius.- Village life in Old China: A community study of Kao Yao, Yunnan. New York: The Ronald Press Co., 1963. 401 pages.

Smith Panh.- English-Mienh and Mienh-English Dictionary. Trafford Publishing (July 6, 2006). 680 pages

This is the first published dictionary in English and Iu-Mienh. Both Iu-Mienh who want to pursue an education in the English language and people interested in learning the Iu-Mienh or Yao language, will benefit from using this dictionary.
The author, whose Mienh name is Koueifo Saephanh, was born into a traditional Iu-Mienh family in Laos. Both of his parents have passed away and he has three brothers and one sister. His nationality is Lao, and his ethnic group is Iu-Mienh also known as Yao in China and throughout Southeast Asia. Currently working as a loan officer, his educational background consists of two years in Chinese, two years in Thai, four years at an English Adult School and two years of college. During his studies, he always enjoyed using English-Thai and English-Chinese dictionaries to improve his English, and is grateful for these wonderful dictionaries, but found it difficult to understand everything because both are second languages to him. Therefore, he started thinking about writing his own dictionary in his native tongue. After surgery on his lower back in 1989 and a stomach ulcer in 1990, he was no longer able to perform heavy tasks, but determined to work on the dictionary. The Iu-Mienh language is like other languages in that it is difficult to render word-for-word from the Iu-Mienh to English or from English to the Iu-Mienh. However, he knew in his heart that he wanted to finish it. «I knew I could not give up on this project, because it would be an important resource for the Iu-Mienh people today and future generations around the world. I believe that all Iu-Mienh brothers and sisters have been in complicated situations like I have when it is difficult to understand the meanings of words clearly using a second language dictionary,» says the author. The author thanks God for giving him the strength, knowledge and patience to write this dictionary. He would also like to thank his family for their support. Finally, he thanks all the people who put the Iu-Mienh Unified Script together. This dictionary will enhance the successful completion of the Iu-Mienh Unified Script.

Jess G. Pourret.- The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. River Books Co., Ltd, 2002

The Yao are a society based on 12 clans with strong traditions and no country of their own, and no greater social borders than the village. They are Taoists with distinctive dress and exquisite silver jewellery. This book covers all aspects of Yao culture.

Purnell Jr., Herbert C.-Miao and Yao Linguistic Studies. Cornell University, 1972

Utler, Jacqueline.- Yao Design. Bangkok, The Siam Society 1970.


Papers from the First Internation Comngress about the Yao civilization.

In German language

WIST, HANS.- Die Yao in Suedchina, nach Berichten neuer Chinesi-schen Feldforschungen
Dietrich Reimer/Andrews & Steiner,1938

Die Religion der Yao. Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens e.V. Hamburg (MOAG), Band 114. Hrsg. von Roland Schneider, Hans Stumpfeldt, Klaus Wenk. Hamburg : OAG, 1990

In French language

Hubert, Annie.- L’alimentation dans un village Yao de Thailande du Nord. Paris 1985, Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

In Spanish Language

Ceinos Arcones, Pedro.- Leyendas de la Diosa Madre. Madrid, 2007.

It includes a complete translation of the goddess Miluotou myth, the creation myth of the Bunu Yao.

Back to Yao main page

To cite this post: Ceinos-Arcones, Pedro, "Some books about the Yao Nationality," in Ethnic China, 3 marzo 2021,
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