<p style='text-align: justify;'>People of the Qing were of diverse heritage. The governing Manchus themselves were hugely outnumbered by other groups, especially the Chinese. Their ever-expanding frontier brought the Qing in contact with people from multiple cultural and linguistic backgrounds. One result of this situation is the present item, depicting appearance and customs of diverse non-Chinese south-western frontier populations, both inside and outside the empire, as Qing officials saw them.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The non-Chinese of the south-western borderlands (who either called themselves ‘Miao’ or were classified as such by Qing officials) were often depicted in colourful ‘albums’, such as this one. These ‘Miao albums’ (practically a whole new ethnographic genre originating in the 18th century) illustrate how imperial China perceived culturally ‘other’ groups. The scenes depicted in this item are various, from the hunting of tigers to wet rice cultivation (or paddy field farming).</p>
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