Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
12021-08-12T06:47:33-04:00Weiting Guo08b125beef921c47ad1de3c337b8d14abd2713ab353(Reference) Chen, Hsi-yüan 陳熙遠. 2008. "Jingdu zhong de shehui yu guojia"plain2021-08-12T07:07:42-04:00Weiting Guo08b125beef921c47ad1de3c337b8d14abd2713abChen, Hsi-yüan 陳熙遠. 2008. "Jingdu zhong de shehui yu guojia: Ming-Qing jieqing wenhua zhong de diyü rentong, minjian dongyuan yu guanfang tiaokong" 競渡中的社會與國家──明清節慶文化中的地域認同、民間動員與官方調控 [Local Identity, Popular Autonomy, and Political Authority in the Dragon-boat Festival Celebrations in Ming-Qing China]. Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo jikan 中央研究院歷史語言研究所集刊 [Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica] 79, no. 3: 417–496.
In Wenzhou, for example, this festival was not solely for the commemoration of Qu Yuan. It was linked with various sections in local society, and was also used as an instrument for conflicts and competition. As historian Roger Shih-chieh Lo persuasively argues, dragon boat races in Wenzhou–with varied origins, forms, and beliefs—have constantly been used for distributing social, cultural, and political resources. Local people usually used these races as an opportunity to show their opinions, and hence were involved in behind-the-scene conflicts and negotiations at their races and festivals (Lo 2019).
Moreover, while the races had constantly been regarded as an arena for competition, they were also related to one of the most important elements of Wenzhou society—namely, water. The canals and rivers were not only used for irrigation, flood drainage, and transportation, they were also used as boundaries between lands and as routes connecting villages with shared interests. These waterways could be the causes of disputes regarding the use of waters and lands; they could also serve as the site for resolving disputes or reshaping social relationships. In either case, dragon boat races have served as a useful instrument for local communities to connect, contest, or negotiate with one another.
In the following sections, I will use Zhang Gang's experiences to discuss how dragon boat racing became an integral part of daily life in Wenzhou. I will also use these cases to analyze how such races shaped the ways people interacted with water—especially the rivers and canals where the races were performed—and constructed a space for negotiating resources and communal affairs in people's daily life.