Este Blogue tem como objectivo a discussão da violência em geral e da guerra na Pré-História em particular. A Arqueologia da Península Ibérica tem aqui especial relevo. Esperamos cruzar dados de diferentes campos do conhecimento com destaque para a Antropologia Social. As críticas construtivas são bem vindas neste espaço, que se espera, de conhecimento.

Guerra Primitiva\Pré-Histórica
Violência interpessoal colectiva entre duas ou mais comunidades políticas distintas, com o uso de armas tendo como objectivo causar fatalidades, por um motivo colectivo sem hipótese de compensação.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Clan Feuds, an Old Problem, Are Still Threatening Chinese

In the New York Times
Published: January 17, 1993

PAN SHI, China— The memory of clan warfare comes back suddenly to Mai Bingsong, and his eyes widen as if he can once again hear the gunshots that exploded around him 74 years ago when he was a small, frightened child.

"A lot of people died then," said the 83-year-old Mr. Mai, his head rolled back as he grasped at images from the past. "Nothing since has been as terrible as that. Not the Japanese, not the Cultural Revolution."

Clan rivalries are an ancient problem in China, and they have returned in the last decade as Communism has subsided and tradition has re-emerged. Huge battles between rival clans are regularly reported in China, and just last month such a battle led to a riot and several deaths elsewhere in Guangdong Province.

Like many villages in China, Pan Shi is made up of a single clan so all the men have the same surname and feel a sense of kinship that often expands into a network of connections outside the village.

Pan Shi was founded 200 years ago by a family with the last name Mai. The Mai family originally came from a nearby village, called Xing, which they shared with the Li clan.

But the two clans constantly feuded, and so a group of Mais fled to form Pan Shi. At the turn of the century the battle between the Mai clan and the Li clan propelled many residents, including Mai Xizhou, the maternal grandfather of this reporter, to join a growing wave of peasants fleeing for Macao, Canada and the United States. Feuding Remembered

On the main track that runs through Pan Shi, Liang Jingzhen, a frail woman who says she is 100 years old, remembers the squabbles between the Mai and Li clans. Like most peasant wives, Ms. Liang retains her own surname but left her family to move into Pan Shi with her husband and his parents.

Sitting in her dark gray-brick hut, where she now spends most of her life, Ms. Liang describes how she fled with Mai Xizhou and his family to Macao to escape the Mai and Li battles, when houses were burned and people killed. She could escape more easily than other women because her feet were not bound, a custom many women throughout China followed for centuries, including Huang Yufeng, the woman Mai Xizhou married.

Ms. Huang, the grandmother of this reporter, accompanied her husband to Canada, but her stunted feet were so tiny it was difficult to travel. Her children remember that she always walked slowly and strangely, the product of a society whose customs were alien to them.

Ms. Liang, however, was not as adventuresome as Ms. Huang and returned to Pan Shi, where the Mai-Li battles had subsided. Now she has softened on the feud. Her grandson fell in love with Li Yuqin, a member of the Li clan from the village of Xing. After they got married, a clan battle broke out in the late 1960's, and Ms. Li had to retreat to her own village to avoid being attacked by the Mai clan in Pan Shi.

The villagers say outbursts between the clans occur about once every 40 years, partly because of the gods.

"No one knows why it's this way," Ms. Li said as she scrubbed away at a pile of dirty clothes in her kitchen. "Everyone knows that it has been this way for a couple of centuries. It doesn't make sense. Our life is better. It's stable. People are educated. Maybe we won't fight again."

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