Download Ancestral Images: A Hong Kong Collection (Royal Asiatic by Hugh Baker PDF

By Hugh Baker

A brand new variation in a single quantity of Hugh Baker's celebrated 3 volumes of Ancestral pictures initially released in 1979, 1980 and 1981. The a hundred and twenty articles and pictures discover lifestyle, customs and rituals in Hong Kong's rural New Territories. each one mouthful is entire in itself, yet jointly the articles quantity to a considerable dinner party. They examine faith, foodstuff, language, historical past, gala's, kin, unusual happenings and extended family struggle. The publication files a lot which could not be discovered. however it additionally offers an figuring out of a global which has now not but completely disappeared, and which nonetheless types the heritage for all times in glossy, city Hong Kong.

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Additional info for Ancestral Images: A Hong Kong Collection (Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series)

Sample text

Now, this was an officially sanctioned take-over, and a small force of Chinese government troops had even been sent to Kowloon City to assist in an orderly transition to British rule; yet there was a sufficiently strong and organized unofficial leadership that it could manage the arming, deployment and supply of a considerable army contrary to the undertakings of its own government. How could this be? The fact is that the local people had been to a large extent self-governing. Government officials were too thin on the ground and too ill-supplied with money and manpower to control effectively the district to which they were assigned.

He was one of three heroes who swore to live and die together as brothers, and whose exploits in fictionalized form are the backbone of the Chinese novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Saam-gwok-ji Yin-yi 三國志演義). Gwaan had been a beancurd seller in early life, and later became a great warrior. He is reputed to have been able to recite a very difficult Confucian text all through by heart, and hence his being worshipped as God of Literature. Why he appears as a God of Wealth I am not sure.

The people of the New Territories live with history in a way that few other peoples of the world do. But ancestor worship costs money. Each clan at some time in its history has set aside land and property in the name of its founding ancestor, and the income from the property of this “trust” (jo-tong 祖堂) is used to finance the ceremonies. There need be no fear that there will be insufficient pork, incense, or firecrackers to worship the ancestor in the manner to which his position entitles him. As the centuries went by, other ancestors within the clan would be singled out as especially important for some reason — such as that they had been eminent scholars or very wealthy — and more trust land would be set aside to provide for their worship.

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