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These case studies of people—wildlife relations focus largely on rural areas, especially the remote peoples living on the frontier with the forest, and only secondarily on the views of wildlife among urban Asians. Wildlife in Asia appears to be in a state of crisis. Wildlife habitat is subject to considerable pressure from resource appropriation, development activity, and growing human populations.
By the late twentieth century, much wildlife habitat in Asia had been destroyed through deforestation; between and one-third of the tropical forest cover in Asia was lost Livernash and Rodenburg Given that a majority of all land species are found in forests, and that tropical forests are particularly species-rich, the decline of Asian tropical forests represents an enormous loss of biodiversity. Population pressure on wildlife habitat in Asia is especially acute. In the population of Asia was estimated at 3. Population growth in forest-edge regions tends to lead to the extension of the arable frontier at the expense of the forest and wildlife habitat therein.
The research tools of social and cultural anthropology can provide knowledge of the human dimension of wildlife management through descriptive accounts of the local communities living at the wildlife interface. Cultural perspectives can make a further contribution by taking wildlife management as an object of study in its own right, focusing critically on the cultural assumptions underlying management and conservation discourse.
By means of ethnographically informed accounts of the cultural contexts in which it is applied, anthropology can contribute to the formation of a more locally sensitive wildlife management policy. First, geographical Asia is marked by an enormous cultural diversity that challenges simplistic pan-regional generalizations. Notwithstanding the tendency within and outside of Asia to focus on East—West difference, in many cases differences within Asia are at least as striking as contrasts with non-Asia.
Asian animals are well-known to non-Asian publics as the stars of wildlife documentaries on television, as popular attractions in zoos and as objects of conservationist concern. On the other hand, non-Asian wild animals are well known to people in Asia. A familiar line-up of exotic wild animals can be found in Asian zoos and theme parks, including elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes and so on, many of which are African in origin. Representations A major critical challenge facing modern anthropology has been to come to terms with the larger constitution and production of human difference, a process that often takes place through the idiom of culture.
Human—animal relations too may well be an important site of Orientalist representations of Asia, one that serves to reinforce the impression of essential Asian difference from the West. There is, of course, a larger tendency within human cultures to classify other peoples in terms of their relationships with animals and to use the animal relation as a symbolic marker.
The precise human—animal relation that is foregrounded for symbolic deployment will vary, and includes cruelty to animals and the illicit consumption of animals. Idealized or romanticized representations of Asia often arise in connection with wildlife. Such claims are particularly pronounced in Hindu and Buddhist parts of Asia.
Thai proponents of national parks claimed that the parks were culturally compatible because, as wildlife sanctuaries, they would be consistent with the Buddhist prohibition on taking life Vandergeest Some writers argue that the Asian emphasis on ahimsa or non-violence, as contained in the traditions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, can contribute to the solution of contemporary issues, including animal and environmental protection Chapple Other writers stress the elevated cultural status of particular wild animals in Asian countries.
Sinha, in an article claiming traditional Indian antecedents of biodiversity conservation, writes as follows: Many wild animals have been revered in Hindu mythology as vahanas vehicles of Gods and Goddesses. Respect for monkeys and even tolerance of their crop-raiding on account of their association with the Hindu god Hanuman is reported for India Pirta et al. Emei area Zhao The practice of feeding wild primates as a means of merit-making is reported for Thailand Eudey — and for China Zhao , while in Japan Buddhist priests, through their feeding of wild monkeys especially in the winter , are said to have contributed to the successful provisioning of wild monkey troops that formed the basis for modern Japanese primatology Carpenter and Nishimura 17— On the other hand, human—animal relations in Asia can arouse disapproval and condemnation.
Much of this criticism is directed at the wildlife trade and the wide range of animal species, terrestrial and aquatic, that it threatens. For its critics, the wildlife trade appears to combine superstition, cruelty and a conservation threat. As with whaling, concern with the wildlife trade straddles welfare and conservation considerations. In addition, the wildlife trade is invoked as evidence of Asian superstition or irrationality.
Asian pragmatism or utilitarianism is a recurring theme in the discussions of wildlife in Asia. A frequent object of criticism is what might be called Asian hyperutilization of wildlife — in the sense that Asians utilize or consume animals that should not be consumed and that Asian utilization of wildlife tends to deplete wildlife populations. But in recent decades Japanese utilitarianism has become notorious in some circles, generating a variety of negative images and stereotypes based on a perceived Japanese overexploitation of the natural world, especially marine wildlife.
These stereotypes pose a challenge to those who study Asian societies and cultures. Hunting — the human predation on wild animals — and is an activity that has both practical and symbolic aspects. But aspects of this dominionistic disposition are also evident in some Asian hunting traditions. In Chapter 1, Roel Sterckx examines attitudes towards wildlife and the hunt in pre-Buddhist China by tracing references to animals in an assortment of early Chinese texts. Sterckx shows that there was no clear conceptual dichotomy between human and animal realms, but instead an emphasis on the changing character of the human—animal interface.
He argues that in early China governmental control over the human realm was associated with control over the animal realm, and that the hunt, by allowing rulers to display mastery over the wilds, served to reinforce socio-political authority. In this case, the hunt represents both a direct physical action that impacts on the animals themselves and an indirect expression or statement to wider human society.
A key feature of the Asian traditions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism is the emphasis on ahimsa — the Indian notion of non-violence or non-injury to other beings, which is linked to the ideas of continuity between life forms, karma 5 J. Hunting clashes with the principle of ahimsa, and the denunciation of hunting is a constant theme in the sacred texts of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. In Chapter 2, Toni Huber examines hunting and the attempts to restrict it in the Buddhist society of premodern Tibet.
The legal proscription of hunting in his kingdom conferred on the Tibetan king great merit and enhanced soteriological prospects. In Chapter 3, I examine representations of hunting among hunters and non-hunters in western Japan. I describe three sets of representations: hunting as a contest with animals and among men, hunting as protection of the wider community from dangerous animals, and hunting as itself a danger both to the practitioners and to the wider public. The morally problematic character of hunting in Asia is further expressed in popular beliefs about spirit retribution.
People who kill animals become vulnerable to the revenge of the spirit of the slain animal. This theme of position reversal, of hunter becoming prey and prey becoming hunter, is evident in the various references to spirit revenge found in the chapters of this book. Tibetan hunters believe that nature spirits angered by the death of game animals exact revenge on them Chapter 2 , hunters in Japan fear the retribution of the spirits of the wild boars they kill Chapter 3 , Japanese whalers are vulnerable to the curse of the whale spirit Chapter 4 , pig-killers on Mentawai fear the anger of slaughtered pigs Chapter 9 and Malay and Indian tiger-killers face the threat of revenge from the tiger spirit Chapters 8 and In short, violence against animals ceases to be the exclusive domain of the hunter, but comes to involve ritual specialists who mediate with the animal spirits.
One way in which religious specialists can prevent such disaster is by stopping the kill beforehand, as in Chapter 2, where Tibetan monasteries close hunting grounds, rulers proscribe hunting and lamas even contrive to convert hunter and prey to Buddhism! But the more common scenario is for the religious specialists to be called in to deal with the consequences, rather than the causes, of killing.
To this end, Buddhist or Shinto priests in Japan carry out annual memorial rites for the spirits of hunted animals on behalf of hunters or for the spirits of whales on behalf of whalers Chapters 3 and 4 , dukun in Sumatra appease the spirits of dead tigers lest they exact revenge on their human killers Chapter 8 and kerei medicine men on Mentawai utter spells over the bodies of pigs about to be slaughtered in order to pacify their souls Chapter 9.
Chapters 4—6 examine other aspects of the use of wildlife as a resource in Asia. In Chapter 4, Arne Kalland focuses on Japanese whaling and, in particular, Japanese views of whales and dolphins. The background here is the sustained Western criticism of Japanese whaling, in which the very legitimacy of whaling as an economic activity is challenged, and cetaceans represented as, in effect, animal persons that should be protected from immoral exploitation by human beings.
In Chapter 5, Deanna G. Donovan examines the wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Much attention is now focused on the wildlife trade and on the variety of terrestrial and aquatic animal species involved in it, including tigers, bears, rhinos, sharks, and turtles, which go to make up the range of wildlife products, from foods and medicines to furs, trophies and pets.
This trade has a major impact on the wildlife populations of Asia and beyond, posing a serious threat to some wildlife species, while attracting much international criticism, not least for the consumption practices on which it is based. Most of the examples above have involved the exploitation of dead animals, but in Chapter 6 we encounter an example of the exploitation of live animals. In parts of South and Southeast Asia, captive macaques are used by local communities to harvest commercial tree crops. Sponsel, Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel and Nukul Ruttanadakul discuss this phenomenon with reference to coconut-picking macaques in southern Thailand.
Based on interviews with the owners and trainers of monkeys in Muslim and Buddhist villages, the three authors offer an outline of this practice and examine its ecological and cultural dimensions. They argue that the phenomenon of cropharvesting monkeys represents a borderline instance of domestication that challenges the conventional dualist categories of wild and domestic or nature and culture. Wildlife pests and predators In Asia, as elsewhere, wildlife can be harmful as well as useful.
National parks and other wildlife reserves have often aroused strong, negative feelings among farmers and livestockers living nearby. In Chapter 7, Klaus Seeland describes such problems for Bhutan by means of a survey in a national park area of wildlife damage among villagers.
This Bhutanese example, in which externally imposed conservation collides with local livelihoods, is clearly at odds with the recent trend in conservationist thinking which holds that conservation, to be sustainable in the long-term, should be consistent with the interests of local people. One of the contributions that anthropologists can make to the study of people— wildlife relations is to challenge axiomatic Western representations of them, and the assumptions on which they are based, by placing these relations in their local cultural context.
In the case of wildlife pestilence, this takes the form of exposing the underlying utilitarian assumptions of pestilence discourse by showing how wildlife damage may be experienced in terms of a different set of assumptions. In this way, Kerinci cultivators strive to maintain a balance with the forest as they farm along its edge.
One of the most destructive wildlife pests in Asia is the wild pig, an animal that raids the crops of farmers across the continent with often devastating consequences. In Chapter 9, Gerard Persoon and Hans de Iongh focus on pigs in three different social contexts in Southeast Asia — central Sumatra, the island of Mentawai off the coast of Sumatra and the Philippines.
In a survey that includes semi-domesticated pigs and wild pigs, the authors show how these animals mediate social relations between different groups of people, variously bringing them together or keeping them apart. They show how, in response to wild pig pestilence in central Sumatra, farmers and hunters of different ethnic groups cooperate to their mutual advantage, as the farmers have major crop pests removed and the hunters obtain bush meat. For non-Muslim farmers in the Philippines, by contrast, wild pigs are harmful to crops and valuable as bush meat — that is, they are a pest and a resource.
Here we can note an interesting contrast in the way that religious ideas inform the human relation to wildlife between these Muslim farmers in Southeast Asia and the Buddhist hunters of Tibet and Japan. In both cases, religion makes human predation on wild animals problematic: the Sumatran Muslim cannot hunt the wild pig because it is unclean and hunting implies contact with it, while the Tibetan Buddhist should not hunt wild animals because they are sentient beings similar to himself.
Human predation on animals is therefore problematic in both cultural contexts, but for contrasting reasons. For the Muslim, the problem is contact rather than lifetaking; for the Buddhist, the problem is lifetaking rather than contact. In many parts of Asia, farming is morally problematic because, like hunting, it is subject to the ahimsa sensibility. Formally, hunting would appear to be a very different activity from farming: hunting is the human predation on wild animals and agriculture is the human cultivation of domesticated plants.
Human crops, in other words, must be cultivated and protected. The violent dimension of human farming is especially pronounced 9 J. For wild predators, the domestic animals kept by human communities generally make for easier prey than wild herbivores. Although the mankilling tendencies of wild predators are notoriously prone to exaggeration, there are credible reports from across the predator ranges of Asia of human deaths caused by predator attack — by brown bears and Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East, by Bengal tigers in the Sundarbans, by crocodiles in tropical Asia, and so on.
The known presence of large predators in an area tends to profoundly alter the human perception of space, instilling a routine vigilance among local people. Those who live in predator country seek to protect themselves from predators in a variety of ways, including by taking precautions when travelling in predator habitat Japanese foresters carrying bells in bear country, Indian villagers wearing face masks on the back of their heads in tiger country, etc.
In Chapter 10, Peter Boomgaard surveys tiger-killing in Indonesia and Malaysia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, using colonial documents to trace the ways in which different ethnic groups living in tiger country interacted with the tiger. European colonialism has had a considerable impact on Asian wildlife, and in many cases continues to have a lasting legacy in terms of people—wildlife relations in Asia. Finally, in Chapter 12, I examine the recent proposal to reintroduce wolves to Japan and local reactions to it in the mountainous areas where it would be carried out.
With reference to the cultural meanings of the wolf in Japan prior to its extinction at the beginning of the twentieth century, the chapter describes how the wolf was seen as both a sacred animal that protected people and their crops and a dangerous animal that threatened human livelihoods and even, at times, human life. This earlier ambivalence towards the wolf informs the present-day debate on wolf reintroduction in Japan. But Western views of wildlife have an important bearing in this chapter too, in the form of the well-known American example of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park which serves as the model for the prospective return of the wolf to Japan.
However, Japanese advocates of wolf reintroduction also invoke the tradition of wolf worship and reverence absent in the West to claim that wolf reintroduction in Japan would represent both a natural and a cultural restoration. Yet the proposal does not go uncontested at the local level. References Anderson, E. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Callicott, J. Baird and Roger T. Baird Callicott and Roger T. Carpenter, C.
Carpenter ed. Basel and New York: S. Karger, pp. Cartmill, M. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Chapple, C. Corbey, R. Cavalieri and P. London: Fourth Estate, pp. Eudey, A. Hell, B. Descola and G. London: Routledge, pp. Jackson, P. Seidensticker, S. Christie and P. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. Environmental Ethics, vol. Kuroda, N. Maruyama, B. Bobek, Y. Ono, W. Regelin, L. Bartos and P. Tsukuba: Japan Wildlife Research Center, pp. Livernash, R. Population Bulletin, vol. Malik, I. Moulton, M.
Sanderson Wildlife Issues in a Changing World. Delray Beach, FL: St. Lucie Press. Pirta, R. Gadgil and A. Biological Conservation, vol. Said, E. London: Penguin. Sandell, K. Bruun and A. London: Curzon Press, pp. Sinha, R. Sukumar, R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Vandergeest, P. Environmental Conservation, vol. Wheatley, B. Yoneda, M. Zhao, Q. Moreover, the animal realm also provided a rich thesaurus for the expression of fundamental social, moral, religious and cosmological ideas. In the extant sources from the pre-imperial and early imperial eras, there appears to have been no conscious effort to dissociate discourse on the animal realm from the literary contexts in which they appear by, say, integrating them into separate canons.
Part of the explanation for this has to be attributed to the broader paradigm in which the Chinese perceived the animal world and nature in general. The classic Chinese perception of the world did not insist on clear categorical or ontological boundaries between animals, human beings and other creatures such as ghosts and spirits. Instead, the animal realm was positioned as part of an organic whole in which the mutual relationships among the species were characterized as contingent, continuous and interdependent.
Animals were rarely thought of as purely natural categories. The animal world, in several ways, provided normative models and signs for the guidance of human society. More than any other category in the natural world, animals provided a lens through which the natural realm and the human social order converged.
Early Chinese writings emphasize that notions of humanity and bestiality, domesticity and wildness, and the hunter and the hunted were subject to ongoing change. Mastering these patterns of change in the interface between humans and animals was the prerogative of the sage or ruler—king. While asserting his sociopolitical authority through hunting wild animals and through the symbolic appropriation of animal paraphernalia, the ruler had to monitor a balance between the human and animal realms by correlating behavioural patterns in the surrounding wilds to the workings of human government.
My analysis is based on a reading of received sources and archaeologically recovered manuscript material from the Warring States period and early imperial China ca. Traces of this idea are preserved in several early Chinese narratives. Animal husbandry played a minor role in traditional Chinese agriculture. Livestock were certainly kept by Chinese farmers, but in far smaller numbers than in Europe. Among the domesticated animals, dogs and pigs had the longest history. Meat itself played a relatively minor role in the traditional Chinese diet in which grain constituted the main food Bray 3—9; Chang 25— But before I discuss this tension in more detail, some of the distinctive features of the human—animal relationship as evinced in texts of the pre-Buddhist era deserve to be highlighted.
Following this same logic, humans were thought to degenerate into a bestial existence when such proper conduct of human government was absent. Mencius recognizes a distinction between the human and animal species, but also emphasizes the frailty of this distinction. In addition, he infers that human comprehension and sagacity determine whether the distinction between the human and the beast is upheld or obliterated.
Similarly, in the Analects, Confucius ? Am I not a member of this human species? With whom, then, can I associate myself? Although Confucius dissociates himself from the animals, by indicating that he would only associate with morally superior specimens of the human species, he implies that the divide between the human and the bestial does not run parallel with the species distinction between animals and human beings.
They disclose an interaction between the two worlds in which the sage functioned as the agent able to draw boundaries or accommodate similarities between the animal realm and the human world. The latter comprises ghosts, spirits, human beings, as well as birds, beasts and insects Liezi 2.
Perspective: Animals in Entertainment
In a number of texts it is said to underlie the faculty of emotions. Although one might be tempted to detect an implicit notion of animal compassion in such stories, this does not seem to have been the intended message by the authors of the time. No school of thought in pre-Buddhist China explicitly advocated a theory of animal compassion or imposed universal religious or social taboos on the hunt, slaughter and consumption of animals. Herbs and trees contain life but have no knowledge, birds and beasts have knowledge but no righteousness.
Man has qi, contains life, has knowledge and also has righteousness, therefore he is the most valuable being for the universe. Xunzi 9. Elsewhere, a gentleman who has lost his ritual propriety is equated with common folk, and common folk without ritual propriety with birds and beasts Yanzi chunqiu 1. Mencius argues that by dwelling in idleness without instruction one approximates the condition of wild birds and beasts. The same applies to humans who fail to 19 R.
A recurrent expression is that deer lack ritual propriety because stags and calves follow the same doe. The dynastic histories of the Western Han dynasty BC —AD 8 , for instance, interpret the appearance of tailed wild deer recorded in an earlier chronicle as an indication of illicit sexual behaviour that could undermine the affairs of state. In this case, a different susceptibility to morals is said to be innate Da Dai Liji 3. A moral hermeneutic of the animal world was also evident in the practical management of animals. Moral virtues were literally projected onto the anatomy or physiognomy of animals.
It applied to both mythical or sacred animals as well as animals known from daily life. The anatomy of the phoenix, a hybrid avian whose appearance was thought to herald the advent of a virtuous ruler, was associated with Confucian virtues: its head carries virtue, its cranium manifests righteousness, its back supports benevolence and its heart is entrusted to knowledge. Early Chinese texts describing the interaction between humans and animals were based on the assumption that animal behaviour was related to the human social world and that human ethics were related to the animal realm.
These linkages between the human and animal worlds affected both worlds if they could be separated at all. This process of projection, or method of induction, implied that aspects of action, behaviour and physical reality among animals were observed as having a spontaneous or induced impact on humans and vice versa. It also implied that behavioural changes in one realm were thought to lead to changes in the other.
To summarize, the idea of human—animal interdependency runs through most contexts of textual discourse on animals in early China. The portrayal of the animal world was therefore marked by a hermeneutic impulse to detect mutuality, congruence, and correlation between animals and humans.
As a consequence, a direct correspondence was established between the ruling or governing of human society and wild animal behaviour. Targeting the wilds The importance of the hunt and the hunting park had to do with symbolism rather than economics. Sima Xiangru ca.
Wildlife in Asia: Cultural Perspectives - Google Livres
His attendants fan out on all sides As they move into the palisade. They sound the sombre drums And send the hunters to their posts. Leopards and panthers they take alive; They strike down jackals and wolves. With their hands they seize the black and tawny bears, and with their feet they down the wild sheep.
And with short spears [they] stab the little bears, Snare the fabulous yao-niao horses 21 R. No arrow strikes the prey Without piercing a neck or shattering a skull; No bow is discharged in vain, But to the sound of each twang some beast must fall. The hunting of game animals in the wild thus appears to have been the prerogative of the ruler and the nobility.
By subduing wild animals in parks, the ruler—hunter symbolically subdued all living species within his socio-political realm. Such allusions to the wilds did not only refer to wild animals but also, and perhaps more importantly, to human barbarian vassals who lived on the periphery of the Chinese cultural epicentre. These nomadic outsider tribes were thought to have the inner disposition of animals, and comments about their physical appearance likewise equated them with wild animals. This enactment of power through the symbolism of animal designs and animal hides can also be seen in descriptions of archery ceremonies.
Yili He supplied tiger skin targets, bear and leopard skin targets and deer skin targets according to the rank of nobility of the participants royal: tiger, bear and leopard; feudal lords: bear and leopard; grandees: deer Zhouli 7. In other words, the marksman is put on a par with the power of the animal skin he targets. By exerting his skilful dominance over the target hide, he not only controls the forces of the represented animal but also adopts and enacts these forces. By shooting at animal hides, the ruler transformed the animal targets hou into yielding vassals hou.
First, instinctive animal behaviour was interpreted as being 23 R. Second, changes in human society were believed to spontaneously induce behavioural changes in the animal world. The poem describes cranes wading at the edge of a pond, presumably in a park or courtyard of a ruler. The cranes — renowned as symbols par excellence of escapism and freedom — are described in all their natural movements. He then concludes as follows: Therefore we know that These wild birds with their wild instincts Have not yet escaped their cage. Relying on the magnanimous love of our king, Even wild birds cherish his grace.
While prancing they sing and dance, the red railings are their reason of joy. Xi jing za ji 4. The notion that human virtue constituted the ultimate principle of balance between man and beast occurs in narratives describing the legendary origins of the geo-political organization of China. The following piece is staged as an exhortation spoken by a forester at the time of King Wu of the Zhou ca. As they lined out the Nine Provinces, and traversed them to open up the Nine Paths. Zuozhuan The constant threat of wild animal attacks also resulted in the establishment of legal measures stipulating the amount of predatory beasts that could be caught, their cash value, regulations on animal enclosures etc.
Such transgressions blurred the physical and moral distinctions between man and beast. Similar ideas survived in later times. The reclamation of land and empire, that is, human 25 R. In a mandate addressed to these malevolent creatures, Han Yu declares war on the whole reptile tribe: The crocodiles and the governor cannot together share this ground.
The governor has received the command of the Son of Heaven to protect this ground and take charge of its people; but you, crocodile, goggle-eyed, are not content with the deep waters of the creek, but seize your advantage to devour the people and their stock, the bears and boars, stags and deer, to fatten your body and multiply your sons and grandsons. You join issue with the governor and contend with him for the mastery. Crocodile, if you set out in the morning, by the evening you would be there.
One such story relates how Master Yan reprimands a duke for not having returned from the hunt for seventeen days. Birds and beasts who reject the dense mountains and come down to the cities and plains are therefore caught by hunters. The two mid-Eastern Han cases that follow are good examples of how bestial animal instinct is attributed to the course of human actions. An edict from the hand of its governor argued that the intrusion into the natural habitat and the extravagant hunting of these animals was the cause behind such problems: In general, the residence of tigers and wolves in the mountains and forests is like the residence of human beings in cities and markets.
In antiquity, in the age of complete transformation, wild animals did not cause any trouble. All this originated from the fact that grace and trust were wide-ranging and abundant, and benevolence reached the avian and running species. Although I, your governor, possess no virtue, how could I dare to neglect this righteous principle. Therefore when this note arrives, let cages and pit-traps be destroyed and do not recklessly go on the catch in mountains and forests.
Hou Hanshu The presence of wild beasts in the Jiang-Huai region is similar to the northern territories having chickens and pigs. This is not the basis of showing sympathy. Sterckx a. Moral authority has transformed their bestial instincts, and a susceptibility to human virtue has induced the tigers to transcend their biotopical boundaries and follow the human ruler. A similar moral human—animal contingency underlies the depictions of wild animals in early Chinese calendrical texts.
Wilhelm — Prescriptions concerning the timing, methods and targeted species of the hunt served to maintain a moral balance between the human and animal realms over a temporal sequence of changing natural habitats that is, the seasons. Respecting the prescriptive cycle of the calendar was a means of preventing human mores from being sanctioned by the natural world. Indeed, untimely appearances of animals were interpreted as omens for impending changes in human society. Early Chinese texts document a great number of creatures that cross their natural habitat to come and abide in unnatural proximity to humans.
Such transgressions of the inner-outer or wilddomestic boundaries were interpreted as meaningful indicators of various social anomalies within the human realm. Numerous examples occur in the dynastic histories of the Western Han dynasty. They include a bear from the wilds entering the palace, wild birds entering the ancestral temples or palaces, pigs breaking out of the pen or stable and entering residential halls, snakes emerging from a palace or entering the capital, rats dancing at the palace gates and inside the court, rats nesting in trees, wild animals playing in the courtyards, wild birds perching on the trees of courtyards and many others cf.
Sterckx ; Sterckx — A moral imperative also underpinned descriptions of hunting techniques and the conservation of game. The moral bias behind such regulations occurs in numerous anecdotes. Elsewhere, an emperor is said to refrain from catching cranes since it was spring, the season during which the use of nets was not permitted.
Literati are said not to use stringed arrows. One source states that those who mistreat herbs, trees, chickens, dogs, cattle and horses will, as a result, suffer and receive their just deserts. In another chronicle, a ritual imperative underlies the hunt. Another standard expression that occurs throughout the corpus of Warring States and Han texts warns that the depletion of natural resources will result in the absence of numinous and auspicious animals. It states that if one cuts wombs and kills foetuses, the unicorn will not come to the outskirts of the city. However, as stated above, these fragmentary assertions were primarily concerned with the moral well-being of human society.
Ultimately, the discourse on the wilds was a discourse on the self-perception of human nature. It provided a window on how humans were thought to relate to nature rather than a focus on the animal world itself. Ideally, rulers would only connect with wild animals in an indirect way. While the ordinary hunter chases and subdues animals through the use of physical violence, the sage—ruler connects with animals in a moral way. An anecdote from Mencius recounts the story of a tiger hunter named Feng Fu. He was renowned for being an expert in seizing tigers. The moral of the story is clear: a gentleman does not bare his arms to counter a wild beast.
Thus the skilful animal tamer Liang Yang is successful because he neither gives the tigers their way nor thwarts them: Now in my heart I neither comply with them nor oppose them, thus the birds and beasts regard me as their equal. Therefore when they roam in my garden, they do not think about their lofty forests and desert marshes, and when they sleep in my courtyard, they never desire to be deep in the mountains or hidden away in the valleys. This principle is only natural.
Liezi 2. Since the distinction between human beings and animals was to a large extent based on moral rather than biological premises, the domestication of the animal realm was primarily expressed in terms of a moral transformation. Muscles, bones, shape and body are what they receive from Heaven. They cannot be transformed. From this point of view man and horse do not resemble each other [that is, they belong to different species]. But when a horse is a grazing foal, it jumps and leaps with its hooves up in the air, it hoists its tail up in the air and runs about.
Man cannot control it. A horse is but a daft animal. But if one connects with its energy and intent, it will likewise await instruction and accomplish itself. How much more is this the case for humans! Huainanzi The sage accords with rather than manipulates the movement of the animal. Other craft analogies involving animals likewise attribute the successful human—animal cooperation to a mutual moral understanding rather than a relationship of physical domination or subordination.
Another passage relates how Confucius chooses to respect animals in their ritualized state. Confucius advocates that the use of an animal is ultimately subject to a moral imperative. In the end, the sage is able to connect with animals in a moral way. It knows that there is a man in it but loves him. An innate respect for human virtue thus transforms a wild animal into an obedient and domesticated companion.
Material artefacts, pictorial sources such as tomb murals and physical animal remains need to be studied to complete the picture. Textual sources do not allow us to reconstruct with precision the ways in which ordinary peasants and village dwellers in ancient China dealt with wild animals in daily life.
However, detailed examination of the topic of hunting and the wilds as it appears in canonical texts, as well as later references to hunting in antiquity, suggests that it was more than a marginal subject in literati circles. Descriptions of imperial hunts, animal parks and exotic wild animals would remain important topoi in Chinese literature. The picture that emerges from this corpus of texts is marked by a peculiar assessment of the human—animal relationship.
It presents an animal realm that functions as a catalytic medium for the conception of human morality, and portrays animal behaviour in the surrounding wilds as an indicator of the workings of human society. While hunting and the ideal of a balanced harmony with the wilds constituted an important aspect of socio-political authority for the sage—ruler, it also provided a means of sanctioning human conduct. Notes 1 For a bibliographical introduction, see Sorabji — Other studies I have found particularly informative include Toynbee and Anderson For a detailed study and bibliography of secondary scholarship on animals in ancient China, see Sterckx This text was originally presented as an outline for a non-sinological readership.
I have reduced the number of technical Chinese references as well as notes that are of strictly sinological relevance. Mozi — BC describes how the sages emancipated humankind from a primitive, bestial existence and invented weapons to counter wild beasts. See Mozi 2. God gave Adam dominion over the animals, and by naming them Adam showed that he understood their nature and was able to control and use them.
See Salisbury 6—7 ; George and Yapp 37— On the role of blood see Sterckx , 73— For similar ideas, see Da Dai Liji 3. Han shi waizhuan 8. For the Shanglin park and a discussion of animal parks in later times, see Wu — ; and Schafer and See further Sterckx , — Laws regarding animals keep recurring throughout legal codes in later Chinese history see Ikeda For the theme of the tiger plague in the postHan period, see Eichhorn See also Hartman 91—93 ; and Schafer See also Shuoyuan See Hanshu 25A.
Elsewhere Sterckx b I have suggested that this disinterest towards the physical animal may explain the paucity of textual references to animal cults and zoolatry in early China. References Primary sources Bohutong shu zheng. Beijing: Zhonghua, Attributed to Han Yu AD — Sibu congkan edition. Chunqiu fanlu jinzhu jinyi. Taipei: Shangwu, Da Dai Liji.
Han Wei congshu edition. Fengsu tongyi jiaoshi. Compiled by Ying Shao d. AD , annotated by Wu Shuping. Tianjin: Renmin, Sibu beiyao edition. Shanghai: Guji, Han Feizi jishi. Attributed to Han Fei d. Gaoxiong: Fuwen, Han shi waizhuan jishi. Compiled by Ban Gu AD 32— Hou Hanshu. Compiled by Fan Ye AD — Huainanzi honglie jijie. Compiled under the auspices of Liu An d. Taipei: Wenshizhe, Kong Congzi. Lunheng jiaoshi. Attributed to Wang Chong ca. AD 27— Lunyu zhushu. Attributed to Confucius — BC. Shisanjing zhushu edition.
Mao shi zhengyi. Mengzi zhushu. Attributed to Mencius ca. Mozi jiaozhu. Attributed to Mo Di ca. Shuoyuan jiaozheng. Xi jing za ji. Attributed to Ge Hong ca. AD — Gujin yishi edition. Attributed to Jia Yi — BC. Xin xu jinzhu jinyi. Attributed to Liu Xiang, annotated by Lu Yuanjun. Xinyu jiaozhu. Xunzi xin zhu. Attributed to Xun Kuang — and his disciples. Taipei: Liren, Yanzi chunqiu jishi. Annotated by Wu Zeyu. Yi Zhoushu. Yili zhushu. Zhouli zhushu. Zhouyi zhengyi. Zhuangzi jishi. Annotated by Guo Qingfan AD — Taipei: Guanya, Zuozhuan zhengyi.
Secondary sources Anderson, J. Berkeley: University of California Press. Ariel, Y. Leiden: E. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Bray, F. Chang, K. Eichhorn, W. George, W. London: Duckworth. Graham, A. La Salle: Open Court. London: Mandala. Hachisuka, M. Hargett, J. Hartman, C. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Hervouet, Y. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Ikeda, O. Legge, J. Taipei: SMC Publishing reprint.
Lewis, M. New York: Cambridge University Press. Needham, J. Petit, G. Paris: Hermann. Riegel, J. Journal of Chinese Religions, vol. Salisbury, J. London: Routledge. Schafer, E. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, vol. Berkeley: University of California Press reprint. Asia Major New Series , vol. Schwartz, B. Sommer, D. Sorabji, R. London: Gerald Duckworth and Co.
Sterckx, R. Bulletin of the British Association for Chinese Studies, pp. Early China, vol. Tambiah, S. Toynbee, J. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press reprint. Twitchett, D. Loewe eds The Cambridge History of China.
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Watson, B. New York: Columbia University Press. Wilhelm, R. Jena, n. Wu, H. Stanford: Stanford University Press. It is an area comprising the Tibetan plateau, its eastern marches and various high-altitude Himalayan valley systems, and inhabited by peoples with a manifestly high degree of linguistic similarity who share cultural and social patterns and historical experience.
But it is not coterminous with any historical or modern political boundaries. The characteristic large Tibetan herbivores wild yak, wild ass, antelope, deer, wild sheep, and so on of the high mountains and plateau grasslands have long been associated with ideals of strength, purity or intelligence. The elusive deer are believed to have a sensitive intelligence, and often feature in Tibetan ritual and symbolism.
In certain areas, wild animals were considered to be the embodiments of deities, or to be under the ownership of local spirit powers. Their sudden appearance or particular behaviour patterns have often been interpreted by Tibetans as portents or divinatory signs. Indeed, all records archaeological, historical and ethnographic for premodern Tibet suggest that hunting has long taken place and was widespread, and that wild animal products were important.
It is also true that the essential ethical systems of historical Tibetan religions both Buddhism and Bon are completely opposed to any intentional taking of life, such as hunting. From the religious point of view, practices like hunting wild animals are considered in the most negative moral light, and seen as soteriologically detrimental to those involved.
Thus, unlike many other societies which practice hunting, premodern Tibetans hunted and still hunt in an atmosphere of stark contradiction between ideals and practices. A few preliminary observations have to be made about this tension before introducing the main topic of the chapter: hunting laws and the protection of game animals in premodern Tibet. Buddhist values are not originally Tibetan. They were introduced in formal and well articulated forms from India over a thousand years ago.
This variability is itself socially recognized in Tibetan discourse. For one thing, values and concomitant prohibitions are never uniformly or consistently subscribed to or internalized in relation to competing discourses, survival needs and other interests such as economic gain. Also, Tibetan religion offers its followers a multitude of ritual means for dealing with the spiritual burden of ethical breaches. Practitioners can either gradually cleanse themselves of the 37 T. Thus the hunter, as a Buddhist, could continue to kill game with the hope of, at some point usually in later life , combatting or avoiding the soteriological consequences of his only males hunt negative actions with ritual.
It has long been clear to the ethically concerned Buddhist elite in Tibetan societies that no amount of preaching or good examples could ever restrain or eliminate hunting, especially when practised for economic gain — such as the lucrative trade in valuable animal products e. To keep hunting in check, Buddhist clerics and lay rulers resorted to alternative methods. To augment the internalized ethical controls which they attempted to socialize into the lay population, a complement of externalized prohibitory measures against hunting were developed. Such measures, largely legal in nature, are the subject of this chapter.
The aim of this brief study is twofold. First, I shall give a historically based outline of the type and development of traditional Tibetan concepts and legal institutions used to prohibit hunting and to protect game. Yet the phrasing of many of these laws reveals that they were not only concerned with the hunters but also referred to the wild game animals. The earliest hunting laws that we know of in Tibet occurred at the state level. Indeed, the grand battue-style hunts, known as lings, were an important part of court and social life.
The most sophisticated and lengthy Tibetan hunting laws are also known from this period. However, they only concern compensation resulting from hunting accidents and other regulations observed during the lings hunts. Following the demise of the Yar-klungs dynasty, no centralized state authority existed on the Tibetan plateau until Mongol suzerainty was imposed during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
There is no mention of ethics or any hint of Buddhist motives in these laws. The model ruler, whether lay or religious, was now based upon the bodhisattva ideal to varying degrees, and was supposed to embody Buddhist principles, such as ethics, compassion, sagacity, etc. This concept continued to be employed in anti-hunting laws right up until the s.
When this is described in the anti-hunting laws, it is done so explicitly in relation to various Buddhist ideas. The moral imperative of offering the gift of fearlessness was also cited by lamas as a reason for other related practices, such as purchasing and freeing the lives tshe-thar of animals destined for slaughter. They clearly indicate that, whatever a ruler may have thought about protecting defenceless game animals because of their intrinsic value, the ruler himself also stood to gain directly from the issuance.
There was therefore a personal soteriological imperative for rulers to impose such laws upon their subjects. We know of only one, rather late reference to this in the legal documents. On the basis of these teachings, he states that he established preserves to protect game animals from hunters around two monasteries which he founded. The other is in a monastic code of rights and regulations applied to the territory controlled by the local monastery.
Here time was the constant, while the precise space covered by the regulations varied. Different units of territory were sealed to hunters, but always in perpetuity. But they are also related to abstention from taking life according to the annual Buddhist ritual calendar: hunting is prohibited everywhere but only during certain important calendar months or ritual periods. The following examples show how different time frames for sealing were related to different purposes. The reverse is believed to apply with the consequences of negative acts, which are multiplied greatly.
It was said to have been staged at this time because the following period was the optimal time for local hunting of musk deer musk pod quality and size were optimal , and the dance was intended to dissuade hunters from hunting in this crucial season. They often dwell on mountains, in rivers and springs and in the subsoil. Some of them are invoked by lamas to guard sealed territories, others rule over pilgrimage mountains or monastic precincts.
All Tibetans 43 T. H U B E R consider these deities capricious and dangerous. They are deemed mostly retrospectively a major cause of illness, natural disaster and bad fortune, and people therefore devote careful ritual attention to them. It is due to these concerns, on the part of the religious state itself, that the hills and valleys must be sealed against hunters to protect against upsetting the deities during their special time of annual worship.
In this syncretistic aspect of Tibetan religion, which provided frequent grounds for sealing areas against hunters as we shall see below , the protection of game had little or nothing to do with Buddhist ethics or soteriology. One notable exception is a tendency towards enumerating the classes and species of wild animals to be protected, as well as those exempt.
The only exceptions are wolves, which may always be hunted due to the threat they pose to livestock. Although the area of enforcement and punishment by the state is never elaborated in the main state law codes and proclamations, we do know of them from recent oral testimonies and I shall discuss them when reviewing the twentieth-century data below. Some monastic laws state that the responsibility for superintending the sealed areas lies with the resident lamas and monks of the monastery or hermitage.