Basic Bibliography about the Yi


Ayi Bamo, Stevan Harrell, Lunzy Ma, Bamo Qubumo.- Fieldwork Connections: The Fabric of Ethnographic Collaboration in China and America.

Fieldwork Connections tells the story of the intertwined research histories of three anthropologists working in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China in the late twentieth century. Chapters are written alternately by a male American anthropologist, a male researcher raised in a village in Liangshan, and a highly educated woman from an elite Nuosu/Chinese family. As decades of mutual ethnographic research unfold, the authors enter one another's narratives and challenge the reader to ponder the nature of ethnographic "truth." The book begins with short accounts of the process by which each of the authors became involved in anthropological field research. It then proceeds to describe the research itself, and the stories begin to connect as they become active collaborators. The scene shifts in the course of the narrative from China to America, and the relationship between the authors shifts from distant, wary, and somewhat hierarchical to close, egalitarian, and reciprocal. The authors share their histories through personal stories, not technical analyses; their aim is to entertain while addressing the process of ethnography and the dynamics of international and intercultural communication.

Ralph R. Covell. Mission Impossible- the unreached Nosu on China's frontier. Hope Publishing House. 1990

Dessaint, Alain Y.- Minorities of Southwest China: An Introduction to the Yi (Lolo) and Related Peoples. HRAF Press, New Haven. 1980.

A brief introduction to the Yi and related peoples, with very useful bibliographic information about some years when it was difficult to get news from inside China.

Vicomte D`Ollone.- In Forbidden China (1912).

One of the first westerners to travel to Liangshan was the French explorer D'Ollone. He brought the world the first news about the Nuoso people.

Gao Xiaohua.- Selected oil paintings of the Yi nationality people. Peoples Art Press. 1994. 72 pp.

The book contains pictures of the paintings of Mr Gao Xiaohua, a painter specialized in the Yi people. Bilingual Chinese English

Goodman, Jim.- Children of the Jade Dragon The Naxi of Lijiang and Their Mountain Neighbours the Yi. Asia Film House. 1997

With nice pictures and plain language is a beautiful book about the Naxi and the Yi who live near them.

Goullart, Peter.- Land of the Lamas (Adventures in Secret Tibet). E. P. Dutton and Co. New York. 1959

Also known as "Princes of the black bone" the book, far of what the reference to Tibet suggests, deal mainly with the travels of Goullart in Liangshan lands. He was working in Kanding, whose local cultures were not interesting to him, but he yearned to visit Liangshan. He had his chance, and shows the reader an interesting world far from the savagery attributed to the Yi.

Harrell, Stevan.- Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China. University of California Press. 2001. 321 pp

A nice selection of articles dealing with a wide variety of issues related to the Yi. This book is the starting point of the Yi studies as an academic discipline.

Harrell, Stevan.- Ways of being ethnic in Southwest China. University of Washington Press. 2001. 365 pp

One of the leading anthropologist studying the Yi, research in this book the way three different kina of Nuoso perceive their own identity, and their relation with Han Chinese, Nazu and Pumi.

Harrell, Stevan.- Mountain Patterns: The Survival of Nuosu Culture in China. University of Washington Press, 2000. 64 pp

Thomas Heberer.- Doing business in rural China: Liangshan's new ethnic entrepreneurs. University of Washington Press, 2007

When Han Chinese moved into the area, competing with Nuosu for limited resources and introducing new cultural and economic challenges, some Nuosu took advantage of China's new economic policies in the 1980s to begin private businesses. In Doing Business in Rural China, Thomas Heberer tells the stories of individual entrepreneurs and presents a wealth of economic data gleaned from extensive fieldwork in Liangshan. He documents and analyzes the phenomenal growth during the last two decades of Nuosu-run businesses, comparing these with Han-run businesses and asking how ethnicity affects the new market-oriented economic structure and how economics in turn affects Nuosu culture and society. He finds that Nuosu entrepreneurs have effected significant change in local economic structures and social institutions and have financed major social and economic development projects. This economic development has prompted Nuosu entrepreneurs to establish business, political, and social relationships beyond the traditional social confines of the clan, while also fostering awareness and celebration of ethnicity.

Kang Enda.- Selections of Yi Nationality's totem- Yunnan Nationalities Press. 1991. 30 pp

This is a photo book about the totemic aspects of the Chuxiong Yi.

Li Xianxu.- Yi people of southern Yunnan sacrifice Big Long (illustrated). Central Nationalities Press. 1998. 124 pp

A beautiful book full of color illustrations who introduces the reader one of the main ceremonies of the Yi nationality living in south of Yunnan.

Lin Yueh-hua.- The Lolo of Liangshan. New Haven. HRAF Press, 1961

Maybe the first anthropological study about the Yi people, written by one of the best Chinese anthropologist before the 1949 Revolution. He depicted a people that, far from the savagery that neighbour populations credited them, had a nice culture, a respect for the culture and the nature and social relations ahead of this times China.

Erik Mueggler.- The Age of Wild Ghosts. Memory, Violence, and Place in Southwest China. University of California Press, 2001

Review by Beatrice David in China Perspectives. Among the vast production in the American field of the anthropology of contemporary China, Eric Mueggler’s book stands out through the quality of its writing.

Thrasher, Alan R.- La-li-luo: Dance-Songs of the Chuxiong Yi. World Music Press.1990.

An analysis of the main dances of Chuxiong Yi.

Winnington, Alan.- The Slaves of the Cool Mountains: The Ancient Social Conditions and Changes now in Progress on the Remote South-Western Borders of China. Lawrence & Wishart Ltd. London. 1959

The book starts depicting the society of the Yi in the Xiaoliangshan, but it has also two more chapters, one of them dealing with the Wa society.

Zhong Dakun (Editor).- The Yi Nationality of Liangshan Mountain. Beijing, People's Fine Arts Publishing House. 1992. 236 pp

A big book of photography of the Yi from Liangshan. With short bilingual English Chinese introductions to the main aspects of their culture

Zhong Xiu.- Emerging from primitivity (Travels in the Liangshan Mountains). New World Press. 1984. 109 pp

This is the narration of a Chinese journalist of a travel to Liangshan Mountains and Lugu Lake, many years before these places were open to Western travellers. The writer talks about the positive changes that the communist brought to these lands, showing some of the people who were favored by these changes.

Anon.- Art of the Yi people. Guizhou Educational Press. 1999. 216 pp

This is a detailed catalogue of the popular arts of the Yi, with captions and short introductions to the chapters in Chinese and English. Decoration, wood carving, stone carving, lacquer painting, personal adornments, art of dress, paper cut, etc.

Anon- Tourist Yuanmou.

An illustrated book about the highlights of Yuanmou turistic attractions, including some pages about the Yi people who live there. Bilingual English Chinese

Anon- Ninglang. Yunnan Nationalities Press. 1996. 80 pp

An illustrated book about Ninglang Yi autonomous County, half of the book is about the Yi and Moso who live there.

Anon.- Seventh Sister and the serpent. New World Press. 1982. 65 pp

A traditional poem of the Yi people.

Anon - Art of the Yi People in Northwest Guizhou- Nashi and ancient documents. Guizhou Peoples Press. 1993. 252 pp

A very nice book with more than 500 illustrations extracted from Yi old books and Nashi paintings. With brief but interesting explanations of the drawings and the main sections of the book.

Anon. - Liangshan Today. Southwest University of Communications. 1998. 395 pp

A locally published book introducing the main aspects of Liangshan prefecture. The environment, the history, the geography and the populations. The culture and main festivals of the Yi are depicted in some chapters.

In French

Legendre, Aime-Francois.- Le far-west chinois, Kientchang et Lolotie. Librairie Plon, Paris, 1910, 472 pages.

One of the first books written about the culture of the Nuoso in Liangshan.

In Italian

Vannicelli, Luigi.- La religione dei Lolo. Vita e pensiero. 1944. 265 pp

One of the last books about the Yi published before 1949 Revolution. It has the value of review all previously materials about their religion. It deals with the religion of the main branches of the Yi.

In Spanish

Ceinos Arcones, Pedro.- Shangrila: viajes por las fronteras chino-tibetanas. Miraguano, Madrid. 2006

Provides interesting information about the life and culture of the Yi in Liangshan Prefecture, translate some of their myths and make interesting reflections about the Nuosu, Chinese and Western culture.

Ceinos Arcones, Pedro.- Leyendas de la Diosa Madre y otros mitos de diosas y mujeres de los pueblos de China. Miraguano, Madrid. 2007

With some myths and legends about Yi's goddesses, is especilly interesting the legend about the end of the rule of the women "Cuoriapu defeats the Kingdom of Women", and about the discovery of the father among the Yi.

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