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Monographic Studies【Font:Small Big

Village Legends and the Construction of Community History :Historical Memory of Traditional Rural Society

Author:   Chen Chunsheng, Chen Shuliang    Update Time:2015年06月02日

Dongfeng Village, near Chaozhou in Guangdong province, was once a settlement shared by several lineages. In the course of its development, the lineages integrated into a single one, that of Chen. With the oral history collected from our fieldwork, the lineage pedigree and the local chronicles, we try to reconstruct the historical process of lineage integration in the village and related activities in the temple. We go on to discuss the interpretation of oral legends and folklore as a methodology in rural social history. Given that village legends are in a sense the “historical memory” of the villagers, it is because they bear special significance for our understanding and interpretation of what we see today in rural life. It is also because the patterns of rural society and life styles of rural residents gradually take form over a long course of development. Interpreting legends amounts to a reconstruction of the village history. The“oral materials”and local people’s accounts provide insight into the“reality”orinner logic of rural history.



Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Add.:1 Dong chang Hutong, Wangfujing Dajie, Beijing, P. R. China Post Code:100006 Tel.:65255400

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