Manufacturing Naxi’s original ecological culture in contemporary China

Chunmei DU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


For over a decade, original ecological (yuanshengtai原生态) has contested ethnic (minzu) as an influential framework in representing minority folk culture in Chinese official and popular media. This article explores the ideological implications of such a shift in the context of state-minority relationships. By examining Han elites’ invention of the neologism and Naxi elites’ adaptations, I argue that YST transforms local ethnic categories into a transethnic, translocal, and transnational concept, and therefore allows both the nation state and the minority groups to promote their own versions of ethnic identities. Compared to the antagonistic model between state domination and minority resistance, YST reflects a shift from minority political self-determination to cultural self-representation in the drastically changing global environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-567
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Ethnicity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cosmopolitanism
  • ethnic identity
  • Naxi
  • original ecological culture (yuanshengtai)
  • self-representation


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