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Maintaining the Link of Life into the Future : Relations between and within Ethnic Groups and between Ethnic Groups and the State in Northern Burma, Yunnan Province, China, and Northern Thailand (<Special Issue> Inter-ethnic Relations in the Making of Mainland Southeast Asia)

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  • 生命の連なりを未来に : 北ビルマから中国雲南省と北タイにかけての民族間関係と民族・国家間関係と民族内関係をめぐって(<特集>東南アジア大陸部における民族間関係と「地域」の生成)

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The vast region of mauntains, plateaus and valleys extending across northern Thailand, Laos, Yunnan Province of China, northern Burma and northeastern India is home to many ethnic groups, including the Lahu, Lisu, Karen, Kachin, Shan, and Chin. These ethnic groups constitute a minority in several countries and are often suppressed by governments which an ethnic majority controls. As a result, they sometimes fight against these government's centralism and assimilation policies in order to protect their own ethnicity, identity, culture, language, and area. In Burma, conflict between the Burmese government and ethnic minorities seeking autonomy or independence has continued since 1948. This is a case of activity by ethnonationalists. The ethnic groups have legends and myths about their origins and clans, their ancestral kingdoms and wars of ethnic resistance. Such legends and myths often become elements that encourage ethnonationalism. While ethnonationalism has played major role in resistance struggles that required ethnic unity, it also sometimes disturb relations within an ethnic group. For example, in Burma, Kachin society was damaged by trouble that originated in an excess of ethnonationalism, which upset the balance of relations among different linguistic groups of Kachins. I think that it is important to understand that relationships of coexistence of various lives in nature have a longer history than the State, nation or nationalism.


  • 東南アジア研究

    東南アジア研究 35 (4), 874-897, 1998-03


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    departmental bulletin paper
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