"Koen Wellens' deeply serious book on the Premi clearly is a marvelous contribution to the study of precisely these wider issues of how people on the margins of civilizations negotiate their forced incorporation into imposing state machineries . . ."
"This is the work that anthropologists of southwest China have been looking forward to. . . . [It] fills in the ethnogaphic gap of English -speaking anthropology on the Tibetan-Yi corridor . . . is full of insightful observations that only intensive fieldwork can render."
-Liang Yongjia, Asian Ethnology
"Wellens is to be commended for the detailed and grounded manner in which he reveals the complexities of the historical, linguistic, and ethnic makeup of the Tibetan borderlands and the care with which he documents Premi culture."
-Gerald Roche, China Review International, Vol. 17(3), 2010
"The author . . . convincingly reminds readers that Muli's ordinary people have successfully adapted external religious doctrines to their own syncretic practices and rituals, despite the state's hegemonic classifications in an invincible worldly system."
-Shao-Hua Liu, Pacific Affairs, March 2012
". . . a fine ethnographic example of 'thick description' . . . [T]his balanced and thoughtful piece of scholarship . . . gives fascinating insights into the role of certain social actors in several Premi villages and of the social complexities in play between ritual, religion, ethnicity and the power of China's nationality politics."
-Mona Schrempf, Journal of Asian Studies, November 2011