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Ecological Migrants

The Relocation of China's Ewenki Reindeer Herders

Yuanyuan Xie
Foreword by Ping Hao

238 pages, 20 illus., bibiliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-632-2 $95.00/£67.00 Hb Published (December 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-633-9 eBook

Hb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors


“This landmark study of a community of sedentarized Ewenki reindeer herders living in Inner Mongolia… is at once deeply sympathetic and penetratingly astute from a scholarly point of view. Rich in detail about the group’s tumultuous historical experiences over the past century, the narrative weaves together multiple threads from traditional Ewenki forest culture with the challenges posed by adaptation to settled life. This book will doubtless capture the interest of both anthropologists and social historians, as the need to scientifically evaluate the effects of analogous ecological migrations in other areas of the globe becomes more urgent…Highly recommended.” · Choice

“Through a detailed analysis of the policy of  ‘ecological migration,’ Xie uncovers the inside story of a misguided policy that resulted in various conflicts…this book provides a good account of the Reindeer Evenki of China and will be useful for those interested in the policies of the Chinese government directed towards nomadic groups scattered within its borders.” · Anthropos


Reindeer-herding Ewenki hunters have lived in the forests of China’s Greater Khingan Range for over three hundred years. They have sustained their livelihoods by collecting plants and herbs, hunting animals and herding reindeer. This ethnography details changing Ewenki ways of life brought first by China’s modernization and development policies and more recently by ecological policies that aim to preserve and restore the badly damaged ecologies of western China. Xie reflects on modernization and urbanization in China through this study of ecological migration policies and their effects on relocated Aoluguya Ewenki hunters.

Yuanyuan Xie is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, China Agricultural University. She received her PhD from the Institute of Anthropology and the Department of Sociology of Peking University. Her current research, funded by the National Social Science Fund of China, examines the ecological culture of reindeer herders in different countries.

Subject: General Anthropology Environmental Studies
Area: Asia


List of Illustrations

Ping Hao



Chapter 1. Living with Ewenki Hunters
Chapter 2. The Culture of Reindeer Ewenki and Historical Settlements
Chapter 3. Ecological Migration Path
Chapter 4. Post-Migration Issues
Chapter 5. Aftermath and Future


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