ABSTRACT

This chapter draws on documentation and interviews with local government and organisational officials to examine how local government conceptualised and acted upon the reconstruction of the Kam people's ethnic identity. It explores the subtle interactions between the socio-political context in China and the practices of local government. Theme development refers to the local government's efforts to essentialise features of an ethnic culture and plan development around them. The chapter presents two cases to illustrate how official discourses infiltrated and, hence, influenced the development of ethnic cultures in the cultural practices of the local government. The video captured two core elements that were subsequently crystalised into Congjiang's cultural identity-soul nourishing and mystical-which reflected the local government's overall perception of the local ethnic culture. According to the Implementation plan of Congjiang County on introducing ethnic culture into campuses, the campaign was implemented as a form of cultural reconstruction with the aim of addressing the crisis in cultural inheritance.