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Clan-Centred Community

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Chapter Summary

The culture of Xiangye was relatively stable and well-preserved. The close-knit community survived only by interdependence. Old people said that the village had always been inhabited by Kam people. People from the same clan were buried in the same area. The graves, one for each person, were dug close to each other. Women in the family had different surnames and for safety's sake, they were usually not allowed to visit the graves. Members of the same clan participated together every year at the Sweeping the Graves Festival. All the males from the clan, young and old, carried some rice wine, meat, incense, candles and money paper to the clan graves to pay homage to and seek the blessing of the common ancestors. In village social life, clans seemed to dominate all activities, demonstrating the importance of blood relations in local culture.

Keywords: candles; clan; close-knit community; Graves Festival; meat; rice wine; Xiangye

10.1163/ej.9789004162297.i-298.31
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    Life in a Kam Village in Southwest China, 1930-1949 — Recommend this title to your library
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