Kam Guilzhouh nyim Guangxxih di Benxtux Wenchual nyim Zihyuanc dih Gonxliix: Kam Local Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Resource Management in Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces, China

Amy Eisenberg, Paul John Amato, Deng Tao

Abstract


Historically, the Han Chinese forcibly displaced Kam people from the best agricultural land. Today, the Kam cultural landscape largely encompasses the border regions of Guizhou, Hunan and Guangxi Provinces, in which lie verdant riverine mountains and valleys. Sufficient water resources support Kam rice cultivation and the broadleaf and evergreen forests of the humid subtropical montane ecosystem. The Kam have dwelled in this diverse environment for approximately 2,000 years developing unique livelihood strategies of harvesting fish and grain from paddy fields, integrating agroforestry and agriculture on mountain slopes and applying specialized knowledge and skills in utilizing local natural resources. Kam people believe that spirits inhabit elements in nature and the world around them, thus great respect should be given to these supernatural beings. Kam resource management practices support regional vegetation where hillside pastureland and forage for domestic animals are ample. Kam rice paddies and fishponds have been judiciously maintained, contributing to Kam cultural survival and development.

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