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Defensive Landscape: Spiritual Land, Spiritual Boundary and the Spatial Strategic Layout in a Miao Village

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image of Inner Asia

Based on detailed ethnography of the Miao in Biasa village, Congjiang County of Guizhou Province, this article addresses the question of how a powerless ethnic group with a small population retains their ethnic identity and survives in the barren highland, surrounded by other ethnic groups who have larger populations and a more developed economy. It examines in detail the ways in which the Miao cultivate and maintain a defensive landscape in the mountain ridge through myths and rituals, and how the spirits, people and mountain are mutually embedded, forming an integral spiritual unity that resists outsiders and external interference.


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