Schram, Louis, 1883-. The Monguors of the Kansu-Tibetan frontier: their origin, history and social organization

Table of Contents

Publication Information


The Land In Which The Monguors Live

The Country

The Historical Background

Population Of The Country





Ii. The Monguors

The Monguors An Enigma To Foreigners

The Monguors An Enigma To The Local People

The Name Of The Monguors

The Language Of The Monguors

Historical Solution Of The Enigma

Settlement And Distribution Of Monguor Clans In Kansu

Monguor Population Figures

Expansion Of The Monguors Over The Country

Historical Frame In Which The Monguors Lived

Iii. Organization Of The Monguor Clan

Composition Of The Clan

Process Of Clan Formation At The Time Of Chingis Khan

Characteristics Of Chiefs And Nobles In The Monguor Clans

Development Of Clan Structure

The Position Of The T'u-ssu

The Organization Of The Noble Houses

The Chief Of The Clan

Origin And Evolution Of The Clan Chief Institution

Rules Of Succession Of The Clan Chief

Installation Of The Clan Chief

The Clan Chief Becomes A Chinese Official

The T'u-ssu Institution

Choice Of Clan Chief Ratified By Emperor

Investiture Of The T'u-ssu: Ceremony Diploma, And Seal

Role Of Clan Chief As Chinese Official

Warden Of The Marches

Guardian Of The Peace In His Territory

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

Taxes Upon T'u-ssu And Their Salary

Trips Of T'u-ssu To Peking

The Commoners


Shat'o, Turkish Origin



The T'u-ssu And His Subjects

T'u-ssu Ultimate Owner Of The Clan Territory

T'u-ssu Lord Of The Commoners



Military Service

Triennial Inspection

The T'u-ssu Lord Of The Nobles

The Triennal Visit

Nobles Exempted From Taxes, Corvées, Military Service

Authority Of T'u-ssu Over Nobles

Waning Influence Of Nobles

Nobles And Commoners

The Clan Assembly

Monguor Cemeteries

Worshipping Of The Ancestors

Genealogical Register


Assizes Of The Clan


Iv. The Village

Formation Of The Village


Social Structure Of The Village

Village Administration


Administrative Procedures

Topics Of The Meetings

Limits Of Authority Of The Village Officials

Relationship Between Villages

V. Family Life

The Extended Family

The Family Chief

Breakup Of The Extended Family

Establishment Of New Families

Classification Of Kinship

Glossary Of Kinship Terms

Nuclear And Extended Family


Interpersonal Behavior In The Family

Marriage And Its Regulation

The Position Of Women

Legends Of The Past

The Maternal Uncle

The Child


Feast In The Village

Dedication Of The Child To The Spirits

Education Of The Child

Institutional Kinship

Property And Inheritance


Morality In The Monguor Family

Vi. Monguor Economic Life

The Historical Shift From Pastoralism To Farming


Pastoral Economy

Hunting And Fishing



Food, Drink, And Narcotics

Clothing And Headdresses

Handicrafts And Origin Of Artisans

The City Becomes The Center Of Economic Life

Vii. Conclusions

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The Monguors of the Kansu-Tibetan frontier: their origin, history and social organization

Published By: Philadelphia, Pa.: American Philosophical Society, 1954. 138 p.: maps

By line: [by] Louis M.J. Schram ; introduction by Owen Lattimore

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2005. Computer File

Culture: Monguor (AE09)

Subjects: Location (131); Historical reconstruction (174); History (175); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Avuncular and nepotic relatives (604); Localized kin groups (618); Community structure (621); Taxation and public income (651);

Abstract: This study concentrates on the clan and family life of the Monguor who live just east of Kokonor, on the Kansu-Chinghai boundary. Special attention is given to the effects of Chinese indirect rule upon Monguor social organization; i.e., the transformation of the clan chief into the T'u-ssu and the resulting changes in land tenure and local government. There is much description of acculturation between Monguor, Chinese, and Tibetan. An introduction by Owen Lattimore (pp. 4-17) summarizes the book. Two maps locate precisely the people described by Father Schram.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: ae09-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references Schram lived in Xining (Hsining) district, or prefecture, in western Gansu (Kansu) Province, a region known as Kokonor. After he left, Xining became the capital of the new province of Qinghai (Chinghai). The Monguor territory was centered on Xining, if not strictly congruent with the prefecture, and included land along the Qinghai-Gansu border. For specificity sake, I limited the place coverage designation to Xining Prefecture, Qinghai Province. Schram bases his study on his ethnographic fieldwork (1911-1921) and historical records from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties, the former includes references from the Mongol period (1271-1368). (Notes added by Ian Skoggard; 2004)

Field Date: 1911-1922

Evaluation: Missionary-5

Analyst: Arthur Fields ; 1956

Coverage Date: 1271-1922

Coverage Place: Xining Prefecture, Qinghai Province, China

LCSH: Mongour (Chinese people)


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