The Manchu are China’s second largest ethnic minority who ruled China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). As a result of their long interaction with the Han, they are one of the most highly sinicized of any of China's minorities. The largest concentration of Manchu is in Liaoning Province, the area of their original homeland, where they are farmers and industrial workers. The Manchu language belongs to the Manchu-Tungus branch of the Altaic language family. Much of the scholarship on the Manchu is historical, covering the period of the Qing Dynasty.
Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.
Asia --East Asia
Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.
Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.
The Manchu are one of the largest minority groups in China but have become largely assimilated. Most of the documents in the file focus on an earlier period when the Manchu were the imperial rulers of China (1644-1911) and their homeland in northeast China. Shirokogorov (1924, no. 2) provides the classic ethnography of the Manchu, focusing on social organization, based on his fieldwork in the area from 1915 to 1918. Anert (1932, no. 5) examines the agriculture and climate of the region covering the period 1880-1930. Chōsa Hōkoku (1921, no. 6) is an economic history from 1860-1920. Lattimore (1935, no. 3) discusses the Japanese, Russian and Chinese efforts to colonize Manchuria and Jones (1949, no. 4) looks specifically at the Japanese colony of Manchuko. Nineteen documents in the file are chapters from the 1956 book “A Regional Handbook on Northeast China” and cover a variety of topics including a general overview (Tang 1956, no. 8), history (Tang 1956, no. 9), settlements (Chang 1956, no. 10), ethnic groups (Posch 1956, no. 11), language (Posch 1956, no. 12), class (Naff 1956, no. 13), family (Hirabayashi 1956, no. 14), intellectuals (Mann 1956, no. 16), education (Tang 1956, no. 17), religion (Tang 1956, no. 18), labor (Huang 1956, no. 20), health (Hsiung 1956, no. 22), government (Tang 1956, no. 25), politics (Lo 1956, no. 26), foreign policy (Tang 1956, no. 28), agriculture (Meyers 1956, no. 31), industry (Hung 1956, no. 33), trade (Huang 1956, no. 34), and maps (no. 35). Clubb (1954, no. 7) also provides an economic analysis of Manchuria in the early period of Communist reforms. More recent books- include Elliot’s (2001, no. 37) discussion of the importance of ethnicity in supporting Manchu rule and Isett’s (2007, no. 36) examination of the economic problems in maintaining an exclusive ethnic reservoir in the traditional Manchu homeland on which Manchu identity and privilege were based. Other topics include Manchu literature (Huang 1990, no. 38), gender relations (Elliot 1999, no. 39), land use (Reardon-Anderson 2000, no. 40) and language (Norman 2003, no. 41).
For more detailed information on the context of the individual works in the file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.
aha –slaves– Use SLAVERY ( 567)
Banners –army regiments– Use GROUND COMBAT FORCES ( 704)
booi –bondservants– Use HOUSEHOLDS ( 592)
Commoner – Use ETHNIC STRATFICATION ( 563)
chün –province– Use PROVINCES ( 635)
Clan – Use LINEAGES ( 613)
Diarchy – Use ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES ( 647) and ETHNIC STRATIFICATION ( 563)
Ethnic sovereignty – Use ETHNIC STRATIFICATION ( 563) and CONSTITUTION ( 642)
hsien –county– Use DISTRICTS ( 634)
jušen –freeholders– Use PROPERTY SYSTEM ( 421)
liang-chun – Use WHOLESALE MARKETING ( 442)
jingbiao –honorific tablets– Use MNEMONIC DEVICES ( 211)
Manchu Way – Use CULTURAL IDENTITY AND ETHNOCENTRISM ( 186) and CULTURAL GOALS ( 185)
Memorials – Use WRITING ( 212) and CHIEF EXECUTIVE ( 643)
Nurhaci –Manchu leader– Use CHIEF EXECUTIVE ( 643)
Racialized identity – Use CULTRURAL REVITALIZATION AND ETHNOGENESIS ( 1710)
zhuangdeng –bondservant– Use SERFDOM AND PEONAGE ( 566)
zhuangtou –bailiff– Use ADMINISTRATION ( 429)
zhaojia –supplementary property payments– Use REAL PROPERTY ( 423)