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Cultural Heritage Development and Solidarity in Southwest China
As a newly emerging China-NIAHS (National Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) in 2017, Shizhu Coptis has increasingly become the topic concerned by researchers and the local government. It has been acknowledged with its unique medical significance, and also its traditional production system is of great value culturally, socially and economically to the solidarity of the county and beyond. This study is the first to provide an anthropological perspective on the China-NIAHS of Coptis traditional production system (CTPS) in Shizhu Tujia County, an ethnic minority autonomous region in Southwest China. Since 2002, when Food and Agricultural Organisation initiated the protection of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems , the value and significance, as well as the urgency, of agricultural heritage systems has been widely emphasized. However, such heritage systems, especially the case in this paper, which is currently the only one agricultural heritage system with great medical values, have not been completely assessed for their contribution to the solidarity and civilization of the society, as each reflects a particular context with complexity. This study, therefore, is sampled purposively to take Shizhu CTPS as a unit of analysis to explore the relationships and features between the agricultural heritage system and its contexts, particularly its relationship and contribution to the solidarity of the ethnic minority county. Four features of Shizhu CTPS with its best “fit” were analyzed. The embedded cultural element and proposed approaches were discussed to illuminate the future research of agricultural heritage system and its contribution to solidarity in China and globally.