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A World Trimmed with FurWild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule$
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Jonathan Schlesinger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799966

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799966.001.0001

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Nature in the Land of Fur

Nature in the Land of Fur

(p.129) Four Nature in the Land of Fur
A World Trimmed with Fur

Jonathan Schlesinger

Stanford University Press

In the borderland with Russia, a similar crisis emerged with furs: From the Altai Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, sables, then foxes, then squirrels vanished from the forest. In response, the Qing state again mobilized itself for another “purification” campaign: it repatriated trespassers, reinforced the boundary line around hunting zones, and attempted to ensure the long-term sustainability of fur-bearing animals. The chapter documents the interconnections between local, regional, and global fur trades in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and provides a case study of the environmental crisis in Tannu Uriankhai lands, in modern Tannu Tuva. There too, the archives show, the Qing court attempted to “purify” local nature and remake it as pristine.

Keywords:   Fur, Sable, Uriankhai, purification, eighteenth century, nineteenth century, Qing, Tannu Tuva, borderland

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