Fortress Village - The Ethnic Minorities of Southwest China  
Project Team Members

Chen Mei-Wen

Chen Mei-WenI, Chen Mei-Wen, graduated from Fu Jen Catholic University with a degree in religion (concentration on Daoism). I studied for my master’s at the Anthropology Department of National Tsing Hua University. Because I wanted myself to “put down the classics and enter the real world,” for my master’s thesis I chose to go to Tienlin County in Guangxi Province to do research on issues regarding concepts of the person and religion of the Pangu Yao tribe, a sub-tribe of the Yao. My master’s thesis, titled “Discourse on the Composition and Life Origin of the Pangu Yao Tribe of Tienlin, Guanxi through Naming,” was published in 2003 by Ton Sam Books as the eighth issue of the Tsing Hua Anthropology Series. This thesis won Academia Sinica’s Institute of Ethnology’s writing award for “visiting students” in 1999, and received further acknowledgement from the Wang Sung-hsing Memorial Fund in 2002.

After obtaining my master’s degree, I worked as an assistant at Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology and Institute of Ethnology. During that period, I went again to Guangxi to study the kinship terms and naming system of the Miao, Yao, Zhuang, and Tong tribes. This trip was funded by the National Science Council’s “The Naming System, Titles, and Collective Memories of Southeast Asia” project (co-hosted by professors Chiang Bien and Mak Lau-Fong). The research results involve discussion on kinship structures, terms and logic, and cultural meaning.

In 2005, I began to pursue a Ph.D. in anthropology at National Tsing Hua University, hoping to expand my knowledge on linguistics and historical anthropology in order to explore topics related to the ceremonial scripts of the Yao people and cultural contact. I also hope to learn more about analyzing scripts and writing ethnographies, and gaining enlightenment from the process.
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