The rite of passage for 36 and 49 years-old Naxi men

Involved kinship relationships and plural origins (Yunnan, China)

This working paper is based on an ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2018 in a Naxi village, in the Southwestern mountains of China. A ritual ceremony, intended to protect Naxi men who are allegedly vulnerable when turning 36 and 49 years old, is organized by families of the village in order to seek protection from deities, ancestors and kinship network. Based on this particular event, the present article wishes to  highlight the plurality within Naxi identity, which appears as one but is shaped by several groups of outside origins. This diversity form the contemporary Naxi people, constantly reinventing their ritual and social practices.

The author

Emmanuelle Laurent is a doctoral student in anthropology from China at the National Institute of Languages and Eastern civilizations (Inalco). Under the supervision of Catherine Capdeville-Zeng, Professor of anthropology of China at Inalco, and Isabelle Leblic, Director of research at CNRS (Lacito), she is attached to the French Institute for Research on East Asia (IFRAE / Inalco - CNRS - Paris 7) and the Lacito joint research unit (CNRS - Inalco - Paris 3).
She was laureate of the Louis Dumont Prize 2017 and the doctoral mobility grant from the Center d'Études French on Contemporary China (CEFC). His research interests are in nationality minority naxi in China. She deals with social relations, kinship and rites of a village in a multi-ethnic context, and seeks to draw up a study of social transformations and cultural minority nationality naxi within contemporary Chinese society.

The text

Emmanuelle Laurent is laureate of the Louis Dumont Prize in 2017 and the mobility grant doctoral student of CEFC 2017 for the project "Lineage and kinship dynamics: configuration of the social and ritual organization of a Naxi village. Study of social and cultural  transformations of a minority nationality in contemporary Chinese society ".

Citing this document: Emmanuelle Laurent, Le rite de passage des 36 et 49 ans des hommes naxi – relations de parenté et origines plurielles impliquées (Yunnan, Chine), FMSH-WP-2019-142, juin 2019.

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18 June 2019

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