This charming book chronicles daily life among nomadic pastoralists in eastern Tibet, in China's Sichuan Province. Gillian Tan spent several years working in the area with a development organization before turning to ethnographic research. In the Circle of White Stones charts her first year living with a Tibetan pastoralist family, in 2006, along with subsequent visits up to 2013, over the course of which she watched the initiation of a major school project in the area by a Tibetan Buddhist lama. Tan describes pastoralist life from the perspective of the women who inhabit one of the Tibetans’ tents, with whom she built up close relations. She describes their daily chores, the vicissitudes of moving between pastures and tending to the livestock, and the pattern of family relations. Although she only hints at these processes, this traditional lifestyle is threatened by galloping development, the construction of new towns and roads, the...
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Book Review| August 01 2019
In the Circle of White Stones: Moving through the Seasons with Nomads of Eastern Tibet
In the Circle of White Stones: Moving through the Seasons with Nomads of Eastern Tibet. By Gillian G. Tan.
University of Washington Press,
2017. xxiv, 147 pp. ISBN: 9780295999487 (paper).
University of Oxford
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Journal of Asian Studies (2019) 78 (3): 660–661.
Fernanda Pirie; In the Circle of White Stones: Moving through the Seasons with Nomads of Eastern Tibet. Journal of Asian Studies 1 August 2019; 78 (3): 660–661. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819000809
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