Exorcism and Money: The Symbolic World of the Five-Fury Spirits in Late Imperial China

By Qitao Guo | Go to book overview

Conclusion

Let us complete our journey into the symbolic world of Wuchang by finishing the story with which we began this monograph.

In 1826, on the first day of the eighth month, in the heart of Huizhou, more than three hundred boys under the age of fifteen from Xidi of Yixian invoked Wuchang for protection in a grand procession. Wuchang was a symbol of ghost exorcism; that boys were used in the procession was part of an exorcism tradition dating back thousands of years. This age-old tradition, however, had been injected with new meanings by late imperial times. Wuchang was invoked, above all, to protect the Hu lineage; the parade was staged as part of the commemoration for the compilation of the Xidi Hus’ genealogy. The boys in this case were themselves important symbols as well, symbolizing the purity, and therefore piety, of the procession organizers and the prosperity of the lineage, blessed with many sons.1 In addition, according to a well-established tradition in Xidi (and in Huizhou as a whole), these boys were soon to leave home to learn a trade. As an old Yixian proverb has it, “We didn’t build up merit a lifetime ago, so we got born in Huizhou; at thirteen or fourteen, it’s out we go.”2

1. In this case, it was the lineage context, not the involvement of boys in the Xidi parade, that made the boy supplicants important “new” symbols by late imperial times. As I have shown, three sons of ~huanxuw ho died unnaturally became the main targets in ancient exorcism. But later they also emerged as the exorcising gods themselves. The ambiguity of Zhuanxu’s sons in exorcism reflected a yearning, widely shared throughout Chinese history, to see sons healthily born and grown. See, e.g., Kang, Nuoxi yishu yuanliu, pp. 327, 381–382.

2. Yu, Yixian, p. 139.

-181-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Exorcism and Money: The Symbolic World of the Five-Fury Spirits in Late Imperial China
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 230

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.