“Southwest”has a variety of meanings in different contexts.Its original and fundamental meaning refers to geographical location，denoting China’ S Southwest，even though itS borders are uncertain and even ambiguous.On this basis，othcr meanings of t11e term are derived.Firsdy，it js the Southwest in terms of t}le geographv of culnares or ethnic groups.Earlv in the Western Han Dynasty，the term“Southwest barbarian”-a concept encompassing ethnic groups within a certain geographical area-generally referred to ethnic groups in the WeSt and Soutll，including Yunnan province，Western Guizhou，Sichuan and southern Gansu.In 1930，Mr.Liang Zhaotao mapped out“The Distribution and Classification Sketch Map of Ethnic groups in the Southwest”to clarify the boundaries of the Southwest region.It included the territories which at that time encompassed Yunnan，Sichuan， Xikang，Tibet，Guangxi，western Hunan，Hainan Island in Guangdong， Yushu in Qinghai，Gannan in Gansu and Other places.It could be taken as giving a generalized pragmatic idea of how the ethnic groups were visualized geographically.In comparison，Professor Emeritus Fang Guoyu used a much narrower concept of what delimits the Southwest area.referring to “that which iS now Yunnan province.the region SOUth of the Dadu River in Sichuan Province and west of Guiyang in Guizhou Province".
The National Research Center at Yunnan University for Studies of Borderland Ethnic Minorities in Southwest China was established in 2001. This Center at Yunnan University is one of 100 national humanities and social science establishments set up by the Chinese Education Ministry. Besides the Resource Room, it includes the following five institutions: the Kuige (Fieldwork and Social Culture) Research Unit, the Ethnic Relations and Nationalities Issues Research Unit, the Cross-Border Ethnic and Border Issues Research Unit, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Research Unit and the Visual Anthropological Laboratory. There are nineteen persons in the Center, including researchers, administrative staff and assistants. Their main academic research fields are: ethnic minorities in southwest China (including the Dai, Hani, Naxi, Zhuang and others which have not yet been classified), ethnic relations in southwest China, economic anthropology and ethnic minority economic issues, development anthropology and cultural industry in ethnic minority areas, border studies, national politics,China and Southeast Asia transnational ethnic minorities, traditional knowledge of ethnic minorities and their intangible cultural heritage, visual anthropology, etc.
Preface From Colonialism and National Crisis to Nation-state Reconstruction and Cultural Self-concepts: Studies of Ethnic History in Southwest China He Ming,Part One Ethnic Groups and Their Cultures Reflections on the Relationship Between Na Mu Ji and the "Naq" Ethnic Groups Yang Fuquan A Study of Folk Beliefs Among the Dai People of Jinping He Shaoying Dao Jie A Study of the Jataka Among the Dai National Minority Living Around Menlom Township Yao Jue A Study of the Concept of "Harmony" within the Folk Religion of Yunnan Gao Zbiying Ma Juli On the Model of "Multi-unification" and "Harmonious Coexistence" He lin The Cultural Meaning of the Traditional House Among the Nu Ethnic Group: Fieldwork of the Nu Villages in Bingzhongluo Township, Gongshan County and Pihe Township, Fugong County Zhang Yue Liu Xianxian An Examination of Medical Beliefs in Yunnan Minority Communities Zhang Sbi Iconographic Styles of Avalokitesvara in Southeast Asia Fu Yunxian Three Misconceptions in Studies of Hani History Gu Yongji A Historical Analysis of the Construction of Jinuo Culture Zhu Yingzban The Formation of the "Parshi Dai" According to Two Genealogical Histories Feng Yu An Anthropological Interpretation of the Movie A B~de of Huayao zhu IingfeiPart Two Ethnic G.oups' Societies and Social Gender Legal Guarantees for Ethnic Groups in Western Large-scale Development Strategy Zhang Xisheng Polygamous Marriage: A Rational Choice in the Context of Tradition and Habitat Li Zbinong Lu Shuangrnei Li Cuibong Fishing by Hani Women in the Terraced Fidds of the Ailao Mountain Area Wang.Q.inghua Ethnic Identity." Men's "Etic" dnd Women's "Emic" Sben Hairnei Tourism and the Changing Image of Gender Construction Yang Hui Liu YongqingPart Three Change and Development in Society and Culture The Ethnic Culture of the Dai Nationality in the Context of Social Change: An Anthropological Study of a Dad Village in Xishuangbanna Zheng Xiaqun ……Part Four Theory and Methodology
Considering the diversity of ethnic groups and cultures， and the fact of a harmonious coexistence of peoples and cultures within Yunnan， Mr. Wu Xiongwu pointed out that our experience tells that "harmonious existence" lies in tolerance-tolerance to diversity and to ethnic difference-and the cause of tolerance lies in "the peoples cannot help but be tolerant under common natural and historical conditions， or at some time choose to be tolerant out of their ethos". As many theorists believe， an ethnic group is established on the basis of an interior identity which at the same time indicates difference and external exclusion， so nationalism indicates an identity and unity at home but exclusion and conflict towards the outside. But the history and experience of ethnic groups in Yunnan engenders another train of thought︰ it is possible both to have interior unity or identity as well as external tolerance. In history， while maintaining their own cultural traditions， Yunnan s ethnic groups could be tolerant towards other cultures and， as a result， a great diversity of cultures could coexist in this piece of territory， Yunnan In other words， ethnic groups with different cultural traditions could coexist in Yunnan over an extended period of time. This sentiment is consistent with Mr. Fei Xiaotongs "pattern of multiple unification" and "cultural consciousness". Tolerance， as a capability and action respecting others beliefs and behaviors， is taken by Mr. Wu Xiongwu as a necessity and a choice. In that case， where is the cultural root for tolerance？ It lies in the structure of thought and the conceptual model of "multi-unification" in many of Yunnans ethnic groups. On the one hand， the model of "multi-unification"-a unique way for knowing the world and dealing with internal relations-has been established in the natural conditions and historical processes of Yunnan; on the other hand， this model has become a fundamental form for dealing with relations between people and across cultures in the course of cultural consciousness.