In this chapter our discussion shifts to what Gail Hershatter (1997) calls an 'ethno-context' which must be known in order to precede the task of historical reconstruction. That is, how facts, fact-makers, and dominant interpretative voices come to interact and give rise to 'history' in this sensitive 'field of force' of central control and oblique challenge. How the all-pervasive presence of the State apparatus looms over and engenders researchers' consciousness of constraints, of given informants' vulnerability, of the possibility of flexible circumvention but also of the way the ethnographer's presence may become an active, sometimes disruptive, act of intervention. The specific context for this discussion comes from a site visit in October 1995 in a Northwest Hui Muslim community. In the course of a long conversation with the local ahong, we were presented an 'internally' (neibu) produced documentation, a chronicle of religious conversion (guiyi, a religious term denoting initiation, derived from Buddhism) which took place some years previously in this same community. The purpose then is to demonstrate how precarious and, from the fieldworker's vantage point, how arbitrary the evocation, transmission and preservation of a collective memory can be.