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Title: Mogong and chieftaincy in western Guangxi and Southeast Asia
Authors: Holm, David
Contributors: 民族學系
Date: 2017
Issue Date: 2017-05-08 14:31:10 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This article is devoted to establishing, by means of textual and comparative evidence, a link between the religious practitioners called mogong (Zh. bouxmo) and chiefly houses. The mogong are male priests who recite texts in the ‘local’ language, in this case Zhuang or Bouyei. They are also found among other Tai peoples, including the Dai in Yunnan, the Tày and Nùng in Vietnam, and also among other ethnic groups in mainland Southeast Asia. Theirs is a very ancient tradition, dating back possibly 2000 years. Most of the studies on mogong in the PRC have treated the mogong either as an instance of ‘primitive religion’ or as ‘folk beliefs’, and some scholars have declared that the mogong had no connection with politics or government. My argument, based on new evidence from a survey of Zhuang vernacular texts, is that the Zhuang mogong only became village-level vernacular priests after the disbandment of the native chieftaincies, starting in the early eighteenth century, and that before that they were attached directly to chiefly lineages, as they still were in Yunnan and in Southeast Asia until the 1940s. The mogong were responsible for the most important triennial sacrifices to the guardian spirits of the domain. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Relation: Asian Ethnicity, 18(2), 173-189
Data Type: article
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