Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access ‘Kitchen Knowledge’, Desperate Foods, and Ritual Healing in Everyday Survival Strategies during the Great Famine in China, 1958–62

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

‘Kitchen Knowledge’, Desperate Foods, and Ritual Healing in Everyday Survival Strategies during the Great Famine in China, 1958–62

  • HTML
  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Asian Medicine

AbstractFamine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread of malnutrition, starvation, epidemic disease, and increased mortality. This paper focuses on the period of the Great Leap Famine in China between 1958 and 1962. Based on newly-collected oral interviews and archival evidence, it gives voices to ordinary villagers from different parts of China—from various counties in one of China’s biggest and most populated Sichuan province in the southwest to Shandong in the east and Hunan in central China and examines their experiences and their survival strategies in times of hunger, illness, and death. It shows that an integral part of everyday famine culture, particularly in rural China, which was worst hit, concerns the kitchen knowledge and practice of healing and nutrition. Many traditional recipes that were used in previous times were rediscovered and used as everyday hunger-coping techniques. Some are dated back to the Ming dynasty—a few were recorded in Materia Medica for Famine Relief (Qiuhuang bencao 救荒本草, c. 1406). Using the methodology of oral history set against the historical background of traditional materia medica, this paper elicits how ordinary people in rural China devised complex and plural strategies to cope with fundamental biological crises.

Affiliations: 1: University of Essex

10.1163/15734218-12341258
/content/journals/10.1163/15734218-12341258
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
10
5
Loading

AbstractFamine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread of malnutrition, starvation, epidemic disease, and increased mortality. This paper focuses on the period of the Great Leap Famine in China between 1958 and 1962. Based on newly-collected oral interviews and archival evidence, it gives voices to ordinary villagers from different parts of China—from various counties in one of China’s biggest and most populated Sichuan province in the southwest to Shandong in the east and Hunan in central China and examines their experiences and their survival strategies in times of hunger, illness, and death. It shows that an integral part of everyday famine culture, particularly in rural China, which was worst hit, concerns the kitchen knowledge and practice of healing and nutrition. Many traditional recipes that were used in previous times were rediscovered and used as everyday hunger-coping techniques. Some are dated back to the Ming dynasty—a few were recorded in Materia Medica for Famine Relief (Qiuhuang bencao 救荒本草, c. 1406). Using the methodology of oral history set against the historical background of traditional materia medica, this paper elicits how ordinary people in rural China devised complex and plural strategies to cope with fundamental biological crises.

Loading

Full text loading...

/deliver/journals/15734218/7/2/15734218_007_02_s006_text.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1163/15734218-12341258&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah
/content/journals/10.1163/15734218-12341258
Loading

Data & Media loading...

1. Ashton B. , Hill K. , Piazza A. , Zeitz R. "‘Famine in China, 1958–61’" Population and Development Review 1984 Vol 10 4 613 645 [Crossref]
2. Bachman D. Bureaucracy, Economy, and Leadership in China: The Institutional Origins of the Great Leap Forward 1991 Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
3. Banister J. China’s Changing Population 1987 Stanford Stanford University Press
4. Becker J. Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine 1996 New York Henry Holt and Company
5. Bernstein T. P. "‘Stalinism, Famine and Chinese Peasants: Grain Procurements during the Great Leap Forward’" Theory and Society 1984 Vol 13 339 377 [Crossref]
6. Bernstein T. P. "‘Famine in China 1959–1961’" China Quarterly 1990 Vol 121 133 review of P. Kane [Crossref]
7. Bozzoli B. Women of Phokeng: Consciousness, Life Strategy and Migrancy in South Africa, 1900–83 1991
8. Brooks J. Thank you, Comrade Stalin! Soviet Public Culture from Revolution to Cold War 2000 Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press
9. Cao Shuji 曹樹基 Da jihuang: 1959–1961 nian de Zhongguo renkou 大飢荒 1959–1961 年的中國人口 The Great Famine: China’s Population in 1959–1961 2005 Hong Kong Shidai guoji chuban youxian gongsi
10. Chan A. L. Mao’s Crusade: Politics and Policy Implementation in China’s Great Leap Forward 2001 Oxford Oxford University Press
11. Chan A. , Madsen R. , Unger J. Chen Village under Mao and Deng 1992 Berkeley University of California Press
12. Chang G. H. , Wen G. J. "‘Communal Dining and the Chinese Famine of 1958–1961’" Economic Development and Cultural Change 1997 Vol 46 1 34 [Crossref]
13. Chao Kang Agricultural Production in Communist China, 1949–1965 1970 Wisconsin University of Wisconsin Press
14. Chen Yixin "‘When Food Became Scarce: Life and Death in Chinese Villages during the Great Leap Forward’" Journal of the Historical Society 2010 Vol 2 117 165 [Crossref]
15. Davis M. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World 2002 London Verso
16. De Waal A. Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa 1998 Indiana Indiana University Press
17. De Waal A. Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan, 1984–5 2004 Oxford Oxford University Press
18. Dikötter F. Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–62 2010 London Bloomsbury
19. Ding Shu Renhuo: Da yuejin yu da jihuang 人祸: “大跃进” 与大饥荒 A Man-made Catastrophe: The Great Leap Forward and the Great Famine 1996 Hong Kong Jiushi niandai zazhi
20. Domenach J.-L. The Origins of the Great Leap Forward: The Case of One Chinese Province 1995 Boulder Westview Press
21. Fitzpatrick S. Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times 1999 Oxford Oxford University Press
22. Gao M. C. F. Gao Village: A Portrait of Rural Life in Modern China 1999 London Hurst
23. Gao Wangling Renmin gongshe shiqi Zhongguo nongmin ‘fanxingwei’ diaocha人民公社时期中国农民‘反行为’调查 Acts of Peasant Resistance in China during the People’s Communes 2006 Beijing Zhonggong dangshi chubanshe
24. Gong Qisheng "‘Jinnianlai zhi 1958–61 nian Zhongguo da jihuang qiyin yanjiu de zongshu’ 近年来之1958–61 年中国大饥荒起因研究的综述" (‘A Summary of Research on the Causes of the Great Famine in China in 1958– 61) Ershiyi shiji 1998 Vol 48 14 21
25. Jing Jun The Temple of Memories: History, Power, and Morality in a Chinese Village 1996 Stanford Stanford University Press
26. Kane P. Famine in China, 1959–61: Demographic and Social Implications 1988 Basingstoke Macmillan
27. Kimberley E. , Wemheuer F. Eating Bitterness: New Perspectives on China’s Great Leap Forward and the Famine 2011 Vancouver University Press of British Columbia
28. Kotkin S. Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization 1997 Berkeley, CA University of California Press
29. Lewin M. The Making of the Soviet System: Essays in the Social History of Interwar Russia 1985 London Methuen
30. Liao Bokang "‘Lishi changhe li de yige xuanwo: Sichuan Xiao, Li, Liao shijian huimou’ 历史长河里的一个漩涡:四川‘萧李廖事件’回眸" (‘A Whirlpool in History: Recounting the “Xiao, Li, Liao Incident” in Sichuan) Dangdai Sichuan Yaoshi shilu Major Historical Events in Sichuan during the Maoist Era 2005 Chengdu Sichuan Renmin chubanshe by the Contemporary Oral History Editorial Office
31. Li Huaiyin "‘Everyday Strategies for Team Farming in Collective-era China: Evidence from Qin Village’" The China Journal 2005 Vol 54 79 98
32. Anon. "CHECK Linxia Huizu Zizhizhou Zhi 临夏回族自治州志" ( The Local History of Linxia Hui Autonomous Region) Gansu renminchuabanshe 1993
33. Li Ruojian "‘Da yuejin hou de renkou sunshi ruogan wenti’ 大跃进后人口损失 的若干问题" (‘Some Questions abut Population Loss after the Great Leap Forward’) Zhongguo renkou kexue 1998 Vol 4 40 44
34. Li Ruojian "‘Da yuejin yu kunnan shiqi fei zhengchang siwang yuanyin fenxi’ 大躍進與困難時期非正常死亡原因分析" (‘Analysis of the Causes of Unnatural Deaths during the Great Leap Forward’) Ershiyi shiji 2002 Vol 72 59 70
35. Lin J. Y. , Yang D. Tao "‘Food Availability, Entitlements and the Chinese Famine of 1959–61’" Economic Journal 2000 Vol 110 136 158 [Crossref]
36. Liu Suinian , Qungan Wu Da yuejin he tiaozheng shiqi de guomin jingji (1958–1965). 大跃进和调整时期的国民经济 1984 Harbin Heilongjiang renmin chubanshe
37. MacFarquhar R. " The Origins of the Cultural Revolution " The Great Leap Forward, 1958–1960 1983 Vol vol. 2 New York Columbia University Press
38. Ma Maocai 馬懋才 " Beichen dajishu備陳大饑疏" ( A Narration of the Great Famine in Shaanxi) Mingji beilue《明季北略》卷五 1628 Repr. Beijing, Zhonghua Shuju 1984
39. Manning K. E. "‘Marxist Maternalism, Memory, and the Mobilization of Women during the Great Leap Forward’" The China Review 2005 Vol 5 1 83 110
40. Mao Lei Zhongguo de pingjun zhuyi 中国的平均主义 China’s Equalitarianism 1993 Zhengzhou Henan renmin chubanshe
41. Myers R. H. "‘Wheat in China: Past, Present and Future’" China Quarterly 1978 Vol 74 297 333 [Crossref]
42. Odoric of Pordenone and Paolo Chiesa The Travels of Friar Odoric: A Fourteenth-Century Journal of the Blessed Odoric of Pordenone 2002 Grand Rapids and Cambridge William B Eerdmans Publishing Co.
43. Peng Xizhe "‘Demographic Consequences of the Great Leap Forward in China’s Provinces’" Population and Development Review 1987 Vol 13 4 639 670 [Crossref]
44. Qu Qingbiao Chaoyue wutuobang: Mao Zedong de shehuizhuyi guan 超越乌托邦—毛泽东的社会主义观 1996 Beijing Beijing chubanshe
45. Schoenhals M. Saltationist Socialism: Mao Zedong and the Great Leap Forward 1958 1987 Stockholm Institutionen for Orientaliska Sprak, University of Stockholm
46. Sen A. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivation 1982 Oxford Clarendon Press
47. Song Liansheng Zongluxian, da yuejin, renmin gongshehua yundong shimo, 总路线、大跃进、人民公社化运动始末 2002 Kunming Yunnan renmin chubanshe
48. Teiwes F. C. , Sun W. China’s Road to Disaster: Mao, Central Politicians, and Provincial Leaders in the Unfolding of the Great Leap Forward 1955– 1959 1999 Armonk, NY M. E. Sharpe
49. Thaxton R. Mao’s Great Leap Forward Famine and the Origins of Righteous Resistance in Da Fo Village 2008 Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
50. Tonkin E. Narrating our Pasts: The Social Construction of Oral History 1992 Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
51. Vansina J. Oral Tradition: A Study in Historical Methodology 1965 London Routledge & Paul
52. Wemheuer F. "‘Dealing with Responsibility for the Great Leap Famine in the People’s Republic of China’" The China Quarterly 2010 Vol 201 176 195 [Crossref]
53. Will P. E. Forster E. Bureaucracy and Famine: Eighteenth-Century China and Nourish the People 1990 Stanford Stanford University Press
54. Xie Chuntao Da yuejin kuanglan 大跃进狂澜 The Mad Wave of the Great Leap Forward 1990 Zhengzhou Henan renmin chubanshe
55. Yang Dali L. Calamity and Reform in China: State, Rural Society, and Institutional Change since the Great Leap Famine 1996 Stanford Stanford University Press
56. Zeng Qingrong Da haojie: Da yuejin yu da jihuang 大浩劫:大跃进与大饥荒 2001 Urumqi Xinjiang renmin chubanshe
57. Zhang L. Gaobie lixiang: Renmin gongshe zhidu yanjiu 告别公社:人民公社制度研究 Farewell to Idealism: Studies on the People’s Communes 2005 Shanghai Shanghai renmin chubanshe
58. Zhang Zhou Caoye Jianzai (朝野僉載) 1997 Vol vol. 2 Beijing Zhonghua Shuju
59. Zhang Zhou , Liu Jiehui , Zhang Guohua Da yuejin he sannian kunnan shiqi de Zhongguo 大跃进和三年困难时期的中国 China during the Great Leap Forward and the Three Difficult Years 2001 Beijing Zhongguo shangye chubanshe
60. Zhonggong Fujian shengwei dangshi yanjiushi Da yuejin yundong: Fujian juan 大跃进运动:福建卷 The Great Leap Forward: Fujian Province 2001 Beijing Zhonggong dangshi chubanshe
61. Zhou Xun The Great Famine in China: A Documentary History, 1958–1962 2012 New Haven and London Yale University Press
62. Zhou Xun Forgotten Voices of Mao’s Great Famine, 1958–1962: An Oral History 2013 New Haven and London Yale University Press
http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/15734218-12341258
Loading
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/15734218-12341258
2012-01-20
2018-06-21

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation