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Title: Strange Buddhas and the king of the monks: Locating history and community in a Muslim state
Authors: Johnson, I.C. 
Keywords: Community
Issue Date: Jun-2011
Citation: Johnson, I.C. (2011-06). Strange Buddhas and the king of the monks: Locating history and community in a Muslim state. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 12 (3) : 219-235. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In this paper I discuss the way in which ethnic and cultural minorities articulate a sense of community through the production and negotiation of historical agency. The Thai Buddhist villagers of Kelantan live in a predominantly Malay and Muslim state along Malaysia's eastern seaboard. Although possessing few myths of common origin, these villagers use a myriad of autonomous reckonings of the past in constructing a sense of cultural distinctiveness in the modern Malaysian nation state. The past is often spoken of by Thai villagers in the guise of anecdotal stories which encapsulate the dizzying array of relationships the community is enmeshed in. My paper shows how these stories are meaning filled texts by which villagers understand their marginal identity. I conclude by arguing that anthropologists should pay close attention to the minutiae of disjunctured histories that permeate the lives of men and women everywhere as a valuable means of making sense of contemporary social realities. © 2011 The Australian National University.
Source Title: Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
ISSN: 14442213
DOI: 10.1080/14442213.2010.546427
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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