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The reindeer herders of Aoluguya, China, are a group of former hunters who today see themselves as "keepers of reindeer" as they engage in ethnic tourism and exchange experiences with their Evenki neighbors in Russian Siberia. Though to some their future seems problematic, this book focuses on the present, challenging the pessimistic outlook, reviewing current issues and describing the efforts of the Ewenki to reclaim their forest lifestyle and develop new forest livelihoods. Both academic and literary contributions balance the volume written by authors who are either indigenous to the region or have carried out fieldwork among the Aoluguya Ewenki since the late 1990s.
List of illustrations
F. Georg Heyne
Map of Aoluguya
PART I: ENCOUNTERING THE EWENKI
Introduction: Writing the ‘Reindeer Ewenki’
Chapter 1. From Nomads to Settlers: A History of the Aoluguya Ewenki (1965–1999)
PART II: MIGRATIONS: REINDEER HERDING IN FLUX
Chapter 2. In the Forest Pastures of the Reindeer
Chapter 3. Ambiguities of the Aoluguya Ewenki
Chapter 4. The Many Faces of Nomadism among the Reindeer Ewenki: Uses of Land, Mobility and Exchange Networks
PART III: REPRESENTATIONS: DEFINING THE REINDEER EWENKI CULTURE AND IDENTITY
Chapter 5. A Passage from Forest to State: The Aoluguya Ewenki and their Museums
Bai Ying and Zhang Rongde
Chapter 6. The Ecological Migration and Ewenki Identity
Chapter 7. Tents, Taiga and Tourist Parks: Vernacular Ewenki Architecture and the State
PART IV: LOCAL VOICES
Chapter 8. Campfire
Chapter 9. My Homeland
Chapter 10. Hunting along the Bei’erci River
Åshild Kolås is Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and has authored two books and numerous articles, mainly on Tibetan identity and cultural representation. She carried out fieldwork in Aoluguya in 2008 and 2009. Her work on the Aoluguya reindeer herders was conducted under a project on "Pastoralism in China: Policy and Practice" funded by the Research Council of Norway.
Yuanyuan Xie is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, College of Humanities and Development Studies, China Agricultural University. She carried out a year-long fieldwork in Aoluguya in 2003-2004, just after the resettlement, and is currently working on a research project about the Aologuya Ewenki funded by the Chinese National Social Science Foundation.
"This is an exciting, finely crafted edited collection which focuses upon a group of Evenki who are poorly known in the English language literature [...] The volume is evenly balanced with both academic and literary contributions by local Evenki authors."
- David Anderson, University of Aberdeen
"This book is a valuable contribution to the anthropology of northern Eurasian peoples. With contributions by Western and Chinese anthropologists along with contributions by Ewenki reindeer herders themselves, the book is a comprehensive and innovative presentation of the history and lifeways of the Ewenki of Aoluguya."
- John Ziker, Boise State University