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  Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
Ethnic Groups Research Database
Sorted by date | title

   Record

 
Subject Chin, social structure, adaptation, Burma
Author Lehman, F.K.
Title The structure of Chin society: A tribal people of Burma adapted to a non-western civilization
Document Type Book Original Language of Text English
Ethnic Identity - Language and Linguistic Affiliations -
Location of
Documents
Sirindhorn Anthropology Center Library Total Pages 228 p. Year 1963
Source Illinois Studies in Anthropology No. 3
Abstract

Lehman noted that the Chin is a tribal society because their traditions and culture were different from those people in low-lying areas and valley tribes. They were relatively isolated and do not belong to any social and political institutions of the state. The ethnic group neither had any socio-political institution nor a writing script of its own. They believe in animistic power.
    
However, socio-cultural structures and organizations of the hill Chin reflected the ethnic adaptation to the environment. Lehman believed that the cultural environment of their neighbors was as important as their physical settlement. To understand the ethnic socio-culture, it is necessary to have a dual adaptation, including:
     1) Adaptation to local resources by means of specific tools/technology
     2) Cultural responses in order to respond to the complex, nuclear Burmese society, which Lehman called "subnuclear society". It is different from peasant and purely tribal societies (pp. 1-2).
    
To understand the impacts of Burmese culture on the Chin society, Lehman divided the Chin into major groups, because these groups had different socio-cultural structures. To trace the ethnic history and to explain aspects of the communication of the ethnic group with the Burmese, it is imperative to elaborate on the ethnic adaptation to their residences in terms of land use, land tenure, and settlement in order to comprehend the nature of Chin property, wealth and status. They were elements of the Chin society that were related to Burmese culture. These elements would help analyze the social structure, trade practices, and religion of the ethnic group (p. 2).

Text Analyst Athita Suntharothok Date of Report Jun 19, 2015
TAG Chin, social structure, adaptation, Burma, Translator Chalermchai Chaichomphu
 
 

 

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