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To Go Where No Han Could Go for Long: Malaria and the Qing Construction of Ethnic Administrative Space in Frontier Yunnan

David A. Bello
Modern China
Vol. 31, No. 3 (Jul., 2005), pp. 283-317
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20062612
Page Count: 35
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
To Go Where No Han Could Go for Long: Malaria and the Qing Construction of Ethnic Administrative Space in Frontier Yunnan
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Abstract

Malaria was one of the most important factors for the maintenance of the native chieftainship system and its attendant tribal identities in Yunnan's southwestern borderlands during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Qing dynasty (1644-1911) was forced to rely on chieftainship administrative space and its tribal inhabitants as unreliable bulwarks against incursions by "wild" tribals and Myanmar primarily because Han Chinese vulnerability to malaria precluded a more stable and direct Qing official presence. The article examines the Qing construction of both chieftainship and wild tribals, as well as the ethnic administrative spaces intended to keep these two identities separate, as products of the interaction between disease and human agency. It concludes that the Qing frontier order in southwest Yunnan was a compromise with both malarial nature and tribal culture.

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