Vietnam Social Sciences, S. 5 (2015)

Cỡ chữ:  Nhỏ  Vừa  Lớn

Local Exchanges and Marketplace Trade of Water Buffalo in Upland Vietnam (Lao Cai Province)

BONNIN CHRISTINE

Tóm tắt


    Historically, throughout many parts of northern upland Vietnam, water  buffalo have been a vital resource for rural citizens, especially for small holder rice agriculturalists. In the case of ethnic minority H'mông farm households, water buffalo are their most highly treasured, essential asset. Buffalo serve multiple functions within their household economy, as well as maintaining an important role as ritual animals, markers of identity, and symbols of wealth and prestige. In this paper, I explore different approaches that H'mông residents of Lào Cai province use to access and circulate these precious livestock. These transactions are embedded in numerous social, cultural and official institutions that set the guidelines by which trade is conducted, whether in the context of community-based or more ‘impersonal' marketplace trade. Moreover, H'mông residents' ability to maintain access to buffalo through a diversity of approaches and options provides an important contribution to upland livelihood security. As water buffalo are among the most expensive purchases that H'mông households must make, localized approaches in particular assume a crucial function for the sustainability of upland livelihoods and in mitigating vulnerability. 


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Vietnam Social Sciences, ISSN: 1013-4328