Rajah, Ananda. Remaining Karen: a study of cultural reproduction and the maintenance of identity

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I Introduction

The Problem: Ethnic Identity, Cultural Distinctiveness And Religion

Palokhi: The Geographical And Economic Context

The Argument: Religion, Ideology, And The Maintenance Of Cultural Identity

Religion And Ritual


The Maintenance Of Cultural Identity


Chapter Ii Settlement History, Headmanship, And The Lord Of The Water, Lord Of The Land

Toponym, Village, And Domain

Settlement History

Headmanship And The Lord Of The Water, Lord Of The Land

Headmanship And Succession

The Head Rite


Chapter Iii Kinship, Marriage, And Domestic Social Organisation

Kinship Terminology

The Naming System: “event” Names And Teknonymy

Male And Female: The System Of Sex Differentiation

Dress And Colour Symbolism

Marriage Rules

“heat” And “cooling”: The Symbolic And Ideological Significance Of Marriage

Marriage: The Ritual Process

Marriage, Residence, And Domestic Group Formation And Fission

Divorce: Throwing Away Marital Partners, Pots, And Pans

A Note On Remarriage


Chapter Iv Village Organisation And The Sociology Of Production And Consumption

The Domestic Organisation Of Production And Consumption: Some Case Studies 1

Case 1: H1a, H1b

Case 2: H2, H13a, H13b, H13c

Case 3: H4, H5, H8, H9, H10

Case 4: H11a, H11b, H12

Some General Patterns

Contractual And Non-contractual Arrangements In The Organisation Of Agricultural Production



Co-operative Labour Exchange

The Sociology Of Production And Consumption In Palokhi

Eating: The Consumption Of Food As Practical Symbol And Symbolic Practice

Domestic Commensalism In Palokhi

Feasting In The Rites Of The New Year

The Constitutive And Transformative Aspects Of Commensalism


Chapter V The Economy Of Palokhi: Subsistence In A Regional Context

The Agricultural Calendar

Swidden Agriculture: Land Use

Wet-rice Agriculture: Land Use, Inheritance, And The “management” Of Agricultural Land

Land Use


The Role Of Men As Managers Of Land

Rice Production And Consumption Requirements

Subsistence In A Regional Context: Miang, Tea, And The Cash Sector Of The Palokhi Economy

Income Earning Activities


Household Economics In Palokhi: Some Examples


Chapter Vi Agricultural Rituals: The Ceremonial Cycle In Palokhi

The Ceremonial Cycle: An Overview

Ritual: Performance And Language

The Ritual Ownership Of Swiddens

The Rites Of Clearing And Planting

Swidden Divination

The Rite Of Clearing Swiddens

The Rite Of Planting Swiddens (ly Tho Hy')

Planting The Ritual Basket Of The Yam (chae' Lau Nwae Tasae')

Drinking The Liquor Of The Rice Seed ('au' Si' By Chae' Khli)

The Rite Of Protection

The Protection Of Swiddens (bghau Hy')

The Symbolism Of The Toemau' Reconsidered

The Rites Of Harvesting

Wrist-tying At The Reaping Of Rice (ki Cy' Ku' Lau By)

The Eating Of The Head Rice ('au' By Kho)

The Rites Of The New Year (lyta Thau Ni Sau)


Chapter Vii Conclusion: Cultural Reproduction And The Maintenance Of Identity

The Telakhon: Identifying Religious Change

From “tribe” To “state”: An Official View Of Karen Identity

Back To Culture


Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Remaining Karen: a study of cultural reproduction and the maintenance of identity

Published By: Original publisher Acton, A.C.T.: ANU E Press. 2008. xv, 323 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Ananda Rajah

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2012. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Karen (AP07)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Cultural identity and pride (186); Functional and adaptational interpretations (182); Community structure (621); Ethnic stratification (563); Inter-ethnic relations (629); Linguistic identification (197); Territorial hierarchy (631); General character of religion (771); Organized ceremonial (796); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Mythology (773); Recreational and non-therapeutic drugs (276); Exchange transactions (437); Real property (423); Regulation of marriage (582); Kin relationships (602); Labor supply and employment (464); Acculturation and culture contact (177);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This study is concerned with the nature of indigenous Karen religion and ethnic identity among the Sgaw Karen in a small northern Thailand community called Palokhi. It argues that religion and ritual sustain and reproduce a cultural ideology which provides a cultural identity, and from which an ethnic identity may be constructed according to the particular circumstances and details of the contexts of intergroup relations. In the case of the Sgaw Karen of Palokhi, the author argues, the cultural ideology consists of a system of social classification based on the difference between male and female, cultural definitions of the relations between the two and the relationship between men and land, and a 'model' of agricultural processes. This cultural ideology is reproduced in and through religion and ritual life, which is dominated by men who play a crucial role, and it is this which provides the Karen with their distinctive cultural ideology.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 32

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ap07-032

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-323)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1980-1982

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Anthropologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Teferi Abate Adem; 2011

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1850-1982

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Sgaw Karen people, Palokhi, northern Thailand

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Sgaw Karen (Southeast Asian people)--Ethnic identity//Ethnology--Thailand--Chiang Mai (Province)


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