Tami Blumenfield

Tami Blumenfield is an anthropologist of China and filmmaker. She is the James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Furman University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Blumenfield researches educational practices, cultural heritage politics, social change, and media production in ethnically diverse regions of southwest China. Much of her research has explored social change in Na villages located in and around tourist zones near Lugu Lake. Her book manuscript, Screening Moso: Communities of Media in Southwest China, supported by a publication fellowship from the American Association for University Women, discusses her collaboration and participatory media project with the Moso Folk Museum and involvement with the Moso Culture Research Association. As part of that project, she collaborated with Onci Erqing and Ruheng Duoji on the 2006 film, Illuminations at Lugu Lake: The First Moso Film Festival.

In addition to her work with the Moso Media Project, Blumenfield has acted in a Yunnan Minority Film Studios feature film, Garden of Happiness (directed by Sun Sha, 1999), and served as a Field Associate Producer with National Geographic Television in Yunnan.

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    Some Na Ceremonies

    The Na people (also known as Moso) of southwest China are best known in the West for their matrilineal kinship system. Western representations of Na culture usually overlook the significance of religion, a central aspect in the lives of Na people. This richly detailed documentary, created by two Na filmmakers and produced by an American anthropologist, consists of five short pieces that capture important Na ceremonies.

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