This book was written with the essential support and criticism of the Anthropology Department at Zhongshan University before, during, and after my year there in 1986 as a visiting professor of anthropology. Liang Zhaotao gave unstintingly of his time as did many others in the department and at the university. Other key institutions that were helpful include the Anthropology Department at Xiamen University, the Institute of Nationality Studies and the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the Nationalities Institutes of the Central Institute of Nationalities (CIN) and Guangdong Province, the Guangdong and Yunnan Minzu Xueyuan (Nationalities Colleges), the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), the Kunming Zoology Institute, and Yunnan University. Individuals from many other institutions also greatly aided my understanding, but responsibility for the views expressed herein is, of course, mine alone.
Suggestions and corrections to early drafts of this book were also solicited and received from friends and colleagues, and I want to publicly acknowledge my debt to them: Chen Yongling, Gene Cooper, Chris Cosgrove, Walter Goldschmidt, Huang Shumin, Huang Shuping, Richard Jungkuntz, Steven O. Murray, Jeff Olson, and Aidan Southall.
Special thanks are owed to Pacific Lutheran University for the sabbatical year and research grant awards that helped make the in-China portions of this enterprise possible. Grateful appreciation is also extended to both the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the American Council of Learned Societies for their support to attend conferences in the People's Republic during which some of the material for this book was gathered.