This article deals with the construction of collective identity among craftsmen in the predominantly sedentary regions of Western and Eastern Turkestan during pre-colonial and colonial times (nineteenth and twentieth centuries). Although it has been widely acknowledged that profession and especially affiliation to a professional group serve as a source for the construction of identity, we do not know much about the precise mechanisms through which these identity markers operate. This study is based on the research of about two hundred “crafts’ statutes” (risāla), the only kind of text originating in the craftsmen’s milieu proper which we possess. We see that the cohesion of a professional group rests largely, at least ideally speaking, on the perception of an imagined shared ancestry for each professional group.
|Translated title of the contribution||Constructing collective identities according to the crafts' manuals (risala)|
|Journal||Cahiers d'Asie Centrale|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|