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Sacred "Filth": Cow Dung and the Construction of the Life World of Herdsmen

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DOI: 10.23977/jsoce.2023.051104 | Downloads: 11 | Views: 317


Li Wenheng 1


1 School of Ethnology and Sociology, Guangxi Minzu University, Nanning, China

Corresponding Author

Li Wenheng


Cow dung, which looks "filthy" in the eyes of ordinary people, has no unclean meaning in the concept of herdsmen. Cow dung plays a very important role in the life world of herdsmen, which contains rich local culture. Based on the long-term field investigation in several villages and towns in the pastoral areas, this research intends to conduct a systematic and in-depth analysis and interpretation of the economic function and cultural connotation of cow dung in the life of herdsmen from the traditional concept of cleansing, and then explore the inheritance and development of traditional culture under the market economy.


Concept of purity; Cow dung; Herdsmen; Life world; Traditional culture


Li Wenheng, Sacred "Filth": Cow Dung and the Construction of the Life World of Herdsmen. Journal of Sociology and Ethnology (2023) Vol. 5: 24-32. DOI:


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[2] Mary Douglas. (2018).Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo [M].Beijing: The Commercial Press.
[3] Liu Zhiyang. (2012).Cleanness and Social Boundary. 4(05):84-87.
[4] Wang Mingke. (2018).The Nomads' Choice: The first Encounter between Northern Nomads and Imperial China. Shanghai: Shanghai Renmin Press.

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