By Sulamith Heins Potter
This landmark learn of Zengbu, a Cantonese group, is the 1st finished research of a rural chinese language society by way of international anthropologists because the Revolution of 1949. The authors study the innovative reports of Zengbu's peasant villagers and record the speedy changeover from Maoist to post-Maoist China. particularly, they search to give an explanation for the endurance of the deep constitution of chinese language tradition via thirty years of innovative praxis. A video documentary, produced by means of the Potters and Tom Luehrsen, Zengbu After Mao, is on the market from New size Media. For video buy or apartment details touch New measurement Media, 85895 Lorane street, Eugene, Oregon 97405.
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Additional info for China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution
Although theoretically, in the last two or three decades before Liberation at least, they could own land like anyone else, slave families did not actually buy any because it could have been taken from them at any time or they could have been driven from the village and their property confiscated. They owned their own small mud-brick houses but not the house lots on which they were built. They were not allowed to have the usual wedding trappings; they could not have music played nor could they bring their brides into the village in a sedan chair.
Only wealthy families could afford to hire a fengshui teacher to undertake the complex process of locating a tomb site with excellent fengshui. Consequently, most jinta were left permanently exposed on the hillsides, where they were worshipped every spring by their immediate descendants. Eventually, most of the jinta would be lost, and the ancestral spirits they contained forgotten. The jinta might be overgrown with vegetation or kicked open by a stray water buffalo, and the bones scattered. Even if the jinta were not lost or broken, most descendants discontinued the yearly worshiping and grave-cleaning ceremony in the spring after a period of time.
Agriculture was very backward, and its technology was primitive. Irrigation works and flood control facilities were in poor repair. There was no local agency capable of mobilizing the peasant farmers on the large scale needed to carry out the building of reservoirs, levees, and canals necessary to increase the amount of irrigated land and to protect against floods or droughts. Farms controlled by the peasants were extremely small, and individual farm units were divided into numerous small plots that were inefficient to work.