Remaining Karen

A Study of Cultural Reproduction and the Maintenance of Identity

Table of Contents

Preliminary Pages
Note on Transcription
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
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
Contractual and Non-contractual Arrangements in the Organisation of Agricultural Production
The Sociology of Production and Consumption in Palokhi
Eating: The Consumption of Food as Practical Symbol and Symbolic Practice
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
Rice Production and Consumption Requirements
Subsistence in a Regional Context: Miang, Tea, and the Cash Sector of the Palokhi Economy
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
Planting the Ritual Basket of the Yam (Chae’ Lau Nwae Tasae’)
The Rite of Protection
The Symbolism of the Toemau’ Reconsidered
The Rites of Harvesting
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
Appendix A. The ‘Au’ Ma Xae Ritual
Appendix B. Labour Expended on Agricultural Activities and Co—Operative Labour Exchanges in Palokhi
Appendix C. A Note on Work and Wage Work in Palokhi
Appendix D. Swidden Cultivation in Palokhi
Clearing of Swiddens (Phae’ Lau Hy’)
Burning Swiddens (Chu Hy’)
Planting (Tho Hy’)
Weeding (Khlau Nau)
Reaping (Ku’ Lau By)
Threshing (Phau’ Lau By)
Transporting and Storing the Harvest (Gwi By, Pha’ By)
Appendix E. Crops Grown in Palokhi Swiddens
Appendix F. Wet-Rice Cultivation in Palokhi
Planting of Dry-bed Nurseries (Tho Ta Ka)
Building Dams (Ma Faaj)
Hoeing (Pla’ Chi’) and Ploughing (Tha Chi’, Thaaj Chi’)
Harrowing (Phoe Chi’, Phya Chi’)
Smoothening (Kwa ‘bleta, Toe’ Chi’, Toek Naa)
Planting (Su By)
Weeding (Pla’ Kha Na)
Harvesting (Ku’ Lau By)
Appendix G. The Agistment of Buffaloes and Cattle in Palokhi
Appendix H. Examples of Household Budgets in Palokhi
Appendix I. The Origin of the Karen: An “Official” History
The origin of the Karens
The First migration of the Karens into Burma.
The Karen Tribes
The Karens under the Feudal Masters
The Karens under the British Colonial Rule