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The Three-River Basin

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Chapter Summary

The Three-River basin (sanchuan ba) owes its name to the rivers known once upon a time as the Meng-chuan, Hui-chuan, and Ji-chuan. This fertile basin had been until 2006 under the jurisdiction of two sub-county administrative units: Jinguan and Liangguan townships, named after the Ming garrison commanders, Jin Mingshi and Liang Congren. The history of the settlement of the Three-River basin and the basin?s natural endowment not only influence social organizations but also shape the local economy. Rice farming in the basin is both the substance of life and cultural tradition: the paddy fields were built up by the garrison men who ?from home in the Central Plains brought with them seeds and implements, in addition to livestock and technology?. The kinship system of the residents of the Three-River basin is based on patrilineal principles in that males are perceived as the ?bone? of the descent.

Keywords: local economy; Ming garrison; patrilineal kinship system; rice farming; Three-river basin



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