To Be a Marma
A Passionately Lived Identity on the Borderlands Between Bangladesh and Myanmar
Author(s): Farhana Hoque

An exploration of Marma identity as an example of cultural distinctness in a borderlands setting.

 Publication Date  Available in all formats
ISBN 9781915271181
  Pages 264





How does being located in borderlands impact cultural identity, through both assimilation and distinctness?

This exploration of the self-identified Marma group, the second largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh, discusses various aspects of identity creation, maintenance and adaptation in the unique setting of the geo-political border between South and Southeast Asia. With the fluidity of change and ethnic composition that is typical of geographical borders, the expectation is constant adaptation resulting in slow change of cultural identity over time. In the Marma case, adaptations are made in order to maintain their cultural distinctiveness. Drawing from stories of the people who hold this identity, the book considers how cultural groups navigate the constant demands on their identity whilst living in borderlands.

Chapter 1: Teacher and student guide
Learning objective
Learner objectives
Suggested activities (general)
Suggested activities (by chapter)
Recommended projects
Chapter 2: The project and the people
Chapter 3: A toolkit to study identity on the borderlands: A brief summary
Chapter 4: Marma kinship and marriage rituals
Chapter 5: Ethnic endogamy: land, culture and religion
Chapter 6: Migration and settlement
Chapter 7: The invention of Marma material culture and ceremonials
Chapter 8: Conclusions

Farhana Hoque PhD conducted her doctoral research at UCL in the social anthropology of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. She also holds an MA in Medical Anthropology from Vrije University and the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and a BA in History and Politics from Liverpool University. Her work on marginalised communities began with a study of women and their reproductive health in Bamako in Mali in the 1990s and continued in her volunteering work at Amnesty International during the Sierra Leone Civil War.

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