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Harnessing FortunePersonhood, Memory and Place in Mongolia$
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Rebecca M. Empson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264737

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264737.001.0001

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The Mountain and the Runaway Daughter

The Mountain and the Runaway Daughter

(p.30) (p.31) 1 The Mountain and the Runaway Daughter
Harnessing Fortune

Rebecca M. Empson

British Academy

This chapter presents narratives concerned with people's past experiences of loss and migration. This is explored through the prism of their current interstitial position as an ethnic minority living in Mongolia's far countryside. Narratives about the Buriad's sustained persecution by the Mongolian state are often evoked as a means by which to objectify themselves as different from other Mongolians. In contrast, narratives of continuity revolving around the tracing of clans and genealogies are used to highlight connections to a wider Buriad diaspora. Focusing on the way in which people define themselves against or alongside others, the chapter reveals some of the idioms by which people evoke different kinds of personhood. These narratives provide a background against which ideas of separation and containment can be used to think through other aspects of Buriad social life.

Keywords:   narratives, loss, migration, ethnic minority, Mongolia, Buriad, diaspora, personhood, genealogies, containment

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