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The Identity of Marginal Groups: The Ethnic "Kinh" Community in the Border of Guangxi since the Nineteenth Century

Muk-chi MA (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
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The ethnic Kinh (Jingzu) who now live on the islands of Shanxin Wutou, and Wanwei (Vietnamese Sn Tâm, Vu Dâu, and Van vi), collectively known as the Three Islands (Sandao) under the jurisdiction of Fangcheng City, Guangxi Province, are said to have settled in these places as early as in 1511, when they came by water from Vietnam's Tushan she. This essay draws on extant documentation and materials collected in fieldwork to explain the Kinh response to the mid-nineteenth century conflict with the local Han people over local resources. In this contest the Kinh united for defense against piracy and Han people by organizing popular militias, building defensive fortifications, and founding communal houses (Dinh) that served as the centre for local life. They used the Ha Festival to worship gods that had been patronized by the Nguyen dynasty in order to establish political identification with the state. Among the Kinh, the Ha Festival is held at the same time as sacrifice to Pangu, the most important communal patron god. The displacement of the Pangu festival by the Ha indicates that the residents tried to merge state political identification with their local cultural identity. As a result of this process the Ha festival became the most important festival in the three villages of Shanxin, Wutou, and Wanwei.Ethnic Kinh;Ha Festival;Dinh (Communal house);Marginal group

Journal of History and Anthropology