About the Talk
The Lahu are a small ethnic minority in China. About 470,000 of them live in the mountains in Yunnan, near Burma, Laos, and northern Thailand. This group is mostly Buddhist, and have a long history of resistance to the Chinese Han majority. The Lahu now face the collapse of their traditional social system, suffering from the highest suicide rate in the world, large scale trafficking of Lahu women, alcoholism, and poverty.
Dr. Ma did long-term anthropological research among the Lahu for years. In this talk, he will give an overview of the Lahus traditional way of life, the difficulties they face, and how the Lahus situation provides an example of how the Chinese government approaches relatively small ethnic minorities in China.
The Lahu minority in Southwest China Streaming Video of talk
The book, The Lahu minority in Southwest China: a response to ethnic marginalization on the frontier, is available in the Library.
About the Speaker
Professor Ma developed his interest in cultural anthropology growing up in Yunnan, Southwest China. In 1997, he received his M.A. degree in ethnology at Yunnan Nationalities University, and completed his MPhil (2002) and PhD (2007) here at HKUST. His research interests include: ethnicity, kinship, the anthropology of borderlands, and ethnic minorities in China and highland Southeast Asia.
As an Assistant Professor in the Division of Humanities, this spring he is teaching HUMA 2621, "Culture and Environment" which explores the relationship between "culture" and the "environment" and how cultural mechanisms impact resource management, population and health practices in different cultural settings.
For enquiry, please contact Victoria Caplan at 2358-6756.