tudor queens series
Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

The Art of Ethnography A Chinese Miao Album by Laura Hostetler, Charles F. McKhann

The Art of Ethnography A Chinese Miao Album


Part of the Studies on Ethnic Groups in China Series


The Art of Ethnography A Chinese Miao Album by Laura Hostetler, Charles F. McKhann

The Art of Ethnography is a fully illustrated translation of a Miao album -- a Chinese genre originating in the eighteenth century that used prose, poetry, and detailed illustrations to represent minority ethnic groups living in frontier regions under imperial Chinese control. These bound collections of hand-painted illustrations and handwritten text reveal how imperial China viewed culturally other frontier populations. They also contain valuable information for anthropologists, geographers, and historians, and are coveted by art collectors for their beautiful imagery. Miao in this context refers not just to groups that called themselves Miao (Hmong) or were classified as such by the majority Han culture, but generally to the many minority peoples in China's southwest. This lovely volume reproduces each of the eighty-two illustrations from the original album and the corresponding Chinese calligraphic text, along with an annotated English translation. Each entry depicts a different ethnic group residing in Guizhou. The album is anonymous and dates from sometime after 1797. Laura Hostetler's Introduction discusses the genesis and evolution of the Miao album genre and the sociopolitical context in which the albums were first made, the ethnographic content of the texts, the composition of the illustrations, and the albums' authorship and production. She situates the albums within the context of early modern imperial expansion internationally by introducing comparative examples of Japanese and Ottoman ethnography. Color illustrations from other Miao albums and comparable works from other cultures give the reader a sense of the chromatic richness of Miao album illustrations and of their place in world ethnography.


This book is a unique and valuable source for the fields of history, anthropology and folklore. In addition to its lovely artistic illustrations and descriptive annotations in both languages, the profound analysis of the albums in the introduction by Laura Hostetler gives the book its scholarly significance. * Museum Anthropology Review * Collectively a vital contribution to this emerging field. This Miao album is a tantalizing glimpse of the kinds of rich research that await further analysis. * Journal of World History *

About the Author

David Deal (1939-2001) was professor of history at Whitman College. Laura Hostetler is associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

23rd February 2006


Laura Hostetler, Charles F. McKhann

More books by Laura Hostetler, Charles F. McKhann
Author 'Like for Like'


University of Washington Press


208 pages


Physical anthropology
Asian history
Regional studies



Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill