: The Role of Nanzhao History in the Formation of Bai Identity

Abstract: Concentrating on the man-made scenery of a theme park in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture ofChina-Nanzhao Folk Island, this thesis explores the way in which the Bai people acquire an identity by sharing a common history that is actively re-created. The state designated minority status ofthe Bai has been made concrete first by the nationality classification project ofthe 1950s; then continued by ethnic tourism in the reform era. The history ofthe ancient Nanzhao Kingdom (649-902) is recounted and reenacted on the Nanzhao Folk Island following the ideological guideline for the creation and preservation ofthe historical unity ofChina. The landscape ofthe Nanzhao Folk Island reveals the interaction between the government's cultural strategy of promoting diversity and the negotiation initiated by the Bai people. The cultural forms on display derived from Nanzhao history are now the resource for a popular reflection ofBai identity.


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