SUN Jiayue Joseph is an MPhil student at the Institute, admitted in September 2020. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with first-class honors at the University of Hong Kong. He had a double major in sociology and counselling, and a minor in Buddhist studies. He is interested in the religious culture of ethnic minority groups in China, especially their narrative traditions. He is currently a member of the YAODAO project of the Asian Religious Connections cluster. Besides being a student, he is also a Chinese-language poet with several awards and published poems.
Lanten Yao; Religious narratives; Cultural anthropology; Ethnic minority groups in China
Title: Three Faces of Woman Huang: A Story in Three Genres in Lanten Yao Culture
The story of Woman Huang (huangshinü 黃氏女) is narrated by the Lanten Yao (also known as Kim Mun) in Northern Laos in three genres: Manuscript, folktale, and ritual performance. This story originates in Chinese culture, but it is also told among some ethnic minority groups. This thesis aims at studying the contents and social meanings of this story in its three genres in Lanten culture from a text-oriented perspective. It has two higher goals. First, with this story as a showcase, this thesis establishes a methodological framework to analyze the large corpus of Lanten people’s narratives, which has the potential to be generalized to other cultures that also have a strong tradition of writing, telling, and performing stories. The second is to add to the theoretical discussion of ethnicity and religion, especially the spread of Chinese religious culture among ethnic minority groups in the periphery. The story of Woman Huang demonstrates how Lanten people have gradually indigenized a Han Chinese Buddhist narrative and incorporated it into their Daoist culture, facilitated by the three different genres.
Keywords: Lanten Yao, narrative, genre, manuscript, folktale, ritual, Daoism