In this innovative study, Erica Brindley examines how, during the period 400 BCE–50 CE, an embryonic Chinese empire interacted with peoples referred to as the Yue/Viet along its southern frontier. Brindley provides an overview of current theories in archaeology and linguistics concerning the peoples of the ancient southern frontier of China, the closest relations on the mainland to certain later Southeast Asian and Polynesian peoples. Through analysis of warring states and early Han textual sources, she shows how representations of Chinese and Yue identity invariably fed upon, and often grew out of, a mutually defining process of centering the self while de-centering the other. Examining rebellions, pivotal ruling figures from various Yue states, and key moments of Yue agency, Brindley demonstrates the complexities involved in identity formation and cultural hybridization in the ancient world and the ancestry of cultures associated with southern China and Vietnam to the present day.
Table of Contents:
Part I. Orientations: Definitions and Disciplinary Discussions: Introduction: concepts and frameworks
1. Who were the Yue?
2. Linguistic research on the Yue/Viet
3. The archaeological record
Part II. Timelines, Maps, and Political Histories of the Yue State and Han-Period Yue Kingdoms, 500 BCE–110 BCE:
4. Political histories of the Yue state and Han-period Yue kingdoms, 500 BCE–110 BCE
Part III. Performing Hua-Xia, Inscribing Yue: Rhetoric, Rites, and Tags:
5. The rhetoric of cultural superiority and conceptualizations of ethnicity
6. Tropes of the savage: physical markers of Yue identity
7. Savage landscapes and magical objects
Part IV. Performing Yue: Political Drama, Intrigue, and Armed Resistance:
8. Yue identity as political masquerade and ritual modeling
9. Yue identity as armed resistance to the Han imperium