A Survey of Contemporary Bai Craft Practices in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, China

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Jason Baird Jackson
C. Kurt Dewhurst
Cuixia Zhang


In this paper, the authors report on a survey of present-day craft practices found among Bai people in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Yunnan province. This collaborative work was undertaken by a binational team drawn from five different Chinese and American research institutions. While brief and provisional in scope, this ethnographic survey revealed the richness of contemporary craft practice in the region and suggested some broader patterns relevant to the intersection of culturally significant crafts and the workings of formal intangible cultural heritage policies in the area. As a survey, the research was intended to prompt further—more refined and in-depth—studies. Suggestions for such further inquiries are offered in this report.


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Author Biographies

Wuerxiya, Indiana University

Wuerxiya is a PhD candidate in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University.

Jason Baird Jackson, Indiana University

Jason Baird Jackson is the Ruth N. Halls Professor of Folklore and Anthropology in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University.

C. Kurt Dewhurst, Michigan State University

At Michigan State University (MSU), C. Kurt Dewhurst is Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the MSU Museum as well as Professor of English and Director for Arts and Cultural Partnerships for the Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship

Cuixia Zhang, Yunnan University

Zhang Cuixia is an Associate Professor in the School of Government at Yunnan University.


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