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

Hu Chi-jui

Hu Chi-juiOnce, I was a student of history. Now I become an amateur of anthropology. It is just a chance to join this workgroup.

I had heard of the National Digital Archive Project when I was a graduate student. I thought it could be an easy job to scan some pictures, just like what I did in my house. By the time I participated in this project, I had learned that there was more things to do, not simply digitalizing the pictures and storing them.

The abundance of the project is quite eye-opening and I am impressed by it. From digitalizing the archives to making the database public, recondite professional knowledge and high technology will be involved in this process. However, it is only the practical dimension of this project. The meaning and value of this project is the most important. Even though what we do is not a great enterprise, we hope to make it like a great enterprise.

Southwest China, seen as a barbarian area by China government, becomes the focus of scholars in the movement of rebuilding the border of China in early Republican China. Anthropologists and Historians are both interested in this issue. Although many friends think this issue is useless, I always answer them that they think it is useless because they do not understand the importance of this issue.

The most fascinating thing about the studies of ethnic groups of southwest China is colorful myths. The stories I heard when I was a child, such as flood myths, myths of brother-sister marriage, myths of three brothers, and myths of King of Panhu, are originated from southwest China. The stories symbolize primitive people’s question and imagination, this is, where we came from and where would we go after death. There are also some legends about grass and woods, just like stars, in Southwest China. I am captivated by ethnic minorities in southwest China.
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