The dynamics of patrilineal descent : property transfer in a Chinese lineage village
by Chan Kwok Shing
xv, 100 leaves : ill., maps ; 30 cm
This thesis focuses on the management and transfer practices of different forms of property in the Pang lineage of Fanling Wai in Hong Kong's New Territories....[ Read more ]
This thesis focuses on the management and transfer practices of different forms of property in the Pang lineage of Fanling Wai in Hong Kong's New Territories.
During the time when the local was dominated by rice cultivation, the Pangs' private lands were usually transferred through the male descent line, whereas the trust lands were kept undivided. The rental income of trust land was used to support ancestral worship and religious activities. In the late 194Os, the Pangs began to subscribe company shares. The shares kept by Pangs' trusts, as part of the ancestral estate, are not divided. Whereas the individual Pang shareholders would transfer their shares to their male descendants.
In the late 197Os, the government gave the Pangs land exchange certificate (Letter B) for the land they surrendered. Some of the trusts sold their Letter B certificates, and the income was divided among trust members or was invested in real estate. Some Pangs also made use of the trusts' dividends to build three-storey village houses, ding uk. However, the ancestral house, tso Irk, would not be sold. The houses are transferred through the male descent line, which have the function to maintain the Pangs' lineage community.
In Fanling Wai, properties are kept in the line of patrilineal descent or are held in trust. I would argue that the lineage community is kept by these particular forms of properties. However, when property is not, or is no longer, bound up with this meaning, the Pangs may selectively redefine the patrilineal principle or develop different strategies for determining transfer practices.