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Title: Mountain People in the Muang : Creation and Governance of a Tai Polity in Northern Laos
Authors: Badenoch, Nathan  kyouindb  KAKEN_id
Tomita, Shinsuke
Author's alias: 富田, 晋介
Keywords: Laos
ethnic minorities
local history
Issue Date: Apr-2013
Publisher: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: Southeast Asian Studies
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Start page: 29
End page: 67
Abstract: This paper traces the history of Luang Namtha, an intermontane valley basin in northern Laos, based on the narratives of non-Tai ethnic groups that collectively constitute a majority in the region. The narratives demonstrate the possibility of alternative histories of muang polities, which are a core part of our understanding of Tai social and political organization. These narratives describe a central role for mountain people in the muang, including the formation, population, and development of what appears to be a Tai polity. This analysis suggests the need to open up our understanding of "traditional" Tai political spaces to accommodate an expanded historical agency for upland groups conventionally circumscribed within their own upland setting. This paper argues that the first step towards a more nuanced understanding of muang is recognizing them as cosmopolitan areas in which many sources of power, innovation, and transformation intersect.
Appears in Collections:Vol.2 No.1

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