Miao - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. Given the long period of Chinese rule, it is not possible to reconstruct precontact organization, though some areas still retain older lineage and clan names. Owing to dispersion, population decimation, and frequent migration, the multisurname settlement seems to be the most common. Villages do not seem to have been formally linked by any kind of tribal organization. There was little class differentiation in the villages, and no formal political structure. Respected knowledgeable elders, heads of family groups, and religious experts of both genders served as informal leaders. Among the more Sinicized, landlords and those who had some literacy in Chinese exercised power in the Community. Under the present system, those who are members of the Communist party stand as the official leaders of the community.

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