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Cooking the Mongols/Feeding the Han: Dietary and Ethnic Intersections in Inner Mongolia

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image of Inner Asia

The aim of this paper is to draw attention to the changing practices and perceptions of the Han residing in Inner Mongolia. Arguing that studies of Inner Mongolia all too frequently focus exclusively on the Mongols, and that the few Han appearing in them tend to be portrayed as agents of modernization and acculturation, the article seeks to challenge this limiting framework and to propose a more integrative approach. Taking dietary practices as its focus, the article suggests that the consumption patterns of foods traditionally marked as 'ethnic' do not neatly follow ethnic boundaries, and that limiting ethnographies of the region to the Mongols in fact obscures and conceals the numerous trends that cut across ethnic lines.


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